Taylor, an African-American emergency-room technician, and an aspiring nurse was shot at her apartment in Louisville, had drawn widespread criticism on police brutality and racism against blacks in the United States. The decision to terminate Hankison comes three days after President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at police reforms, wherein he said that "bad cops" will be accountable for misconduct.
Action Against Police Brutality
On Friday, Louisville Metro Police Department chief Schroeder posted a letter for Hankison on Twitter expressing his intentions of firing the officer. Schroeder described Hankison's action on the day of the incident as an "extreme violation" of standard operating procedures as he used deadly force after entering Taylor's apartment. "I find your conduct a shock to the conscience," Schroeder wrote adding that Hankison "displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life."
A joint statement issued by Benjamin Crump, Lonita Baker and Sam Aguiar, the attorneys representing Taylor's family, read that although Hankison's firing was a long-overdue step towards justice, it definitely is a welcome move. They further said that it was time the Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed criminal charges against the other two cops involved in the shooting.
First Step Towards Police Reforms
Detective Hankison's firing from the Louisville Metro Police Department comes just days after Trump signed an executive order aimed at police reforms. A series of incidents involving the deaths of a number of African-Americans like Taylor, George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks saw mass protests across the United States against police brutality and racism against African Americans.
Hankison is one of the three officers who entered the 26-year-old Taylor's apartment around 1 am on March 13 to execute a no-knock warrant. Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, assuming them to be intruders, called 911, grabbed his licensed gun, and shot one of the officers in the leg. The officers shot back, firing 20 rounds, with at least eight hitting an unarmed Taylor, killing her instantly.
The pre-termination letter from Schroeder mentions Hankison "wantonly and blindly fired 10 rounds" into Taylor's apartment. Earlier this month, Louisville Metro Council passed a law banning "no-knock warrants" and named it Breonna's Law after witnessing 22 straight nights of protests calling for justice for Taylor and Floyd.
Hankison's Tainted Past
The other two officers, Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove, involved in the shooting remain on administrative reassignment. Hankison has a past history of police atrocity including sexual misconduct. Following Taylor's killing, allegations of sexual misconduct have also emerged against Hankison.
Three women have publicly accused Hankison of sexual assault through social media posts. At least two complaints of sexual misconduct were filed against Hankison when he was part of the law enforcement department. He was hired by the Louisville Metro Police Department in 2003.