On Tuesday, the Louisville Metro Police Department announced that Brett Hankison, one of the officers who shot Breonna Taylor, had officially been fired, CBS News reported. A letter to Hankison written by Lousiville’s Chief of Police, Robert Schroeder, was posted to the department’s Twitter account on Tuesday.
In that letter, Schroeder explained exactly why the department chose to fire Hankison, according to CBS News. The official reason given for Hankison’s termination was his violation of two of the department’s standard operating procedures: obedience to rules and regulations and use of deadly force. The letter went on to describe how Hankison’s actions during the raid on Taylor’s residence had violated these standard operating procedures.
Schroeder wrote that Hankison violated the obedience to rules and regulations standard operating procedure when he chose to fire his gun several times into Taylor’s apartment. The letter pointed out that this choice put multiple people’s lives in serious danger, including the residents of the apartment next door to Taylor’s since three of the shots fired went into their apartment.
The letter continued, describing how Hankison violated the department’s standard operating procedure for use of deadly force, according to CBS News. Schroeder stated that deadly force is only supposed to be used when the officers involved have a legitimate reason to fear that serious harm to themselves or others is imminent. Schroeder wrote that Hankison had no evidence that he or others were imminently going to be harmed.
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The letter ended with a clear condemnation of Hankison’s actions.
“Based upon my review, these are extreme violations of our policies,” Schroeder wrote.
“I find your conduct a shock to the conscience. I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion. You have never been trained by the Louisville Metro Police Department to use deadly force in this fashion. Your actions have brought discredit upon yourself and the Department. I cannot tolerate this type of conduct by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Your conduct demands your termination.”
On Friday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced that Hankison would be fired, but said he could not give details about when the termination would happen. He stated that both he and Schroeder were prevented by law from discussing the details of the termination before it was finalized. However, Schroeder did take the opportunity to speak out against Hankison’s actions. Much of what he said on Friday was included in the letter posted to the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Twitter account. The letter expanded on the statements he made Friday.
Three police officers, including Hankison, were involved in the execution of a no-knock warrant which led to Taylor’s death. She was in bed when officers shot her several times, resulting in her death. The other officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative reassignment, and the department has not commented as to whether they will face additional disciplinary action.