Ex-Cop Brett Hankison On Trial For Endangering Breonna Taylor's Neighbors

Trial Begins For Ex-Cop Charged With Endangering Breonna Taylor’s White Neighbors By Shooting ‘Blindly’ During Her Murder

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Talk about complexion for protection!


Source: Lexington Herald-Leader / Getty

Endangering White people is a bigger crime than killing an innocent Black woman in her sleep. Thousands of demonstrations and millions of protestors later, the only cop on trial for the raid that killed Breonna Taylor isn’t facing a single day behind bars for ending her life. CNN reports that opening arguments began on Wednesday for the trial of ex-Louisville officer Brett Hankison. He faces three counts of wanton endangerment for allegedly firing 10 shots “blindly” into the nearby apartment of Breonna’s White neighbors, Cody Etherton and Chelsea Napper.

According to Kentucky Assistant Attorney General Barbara Whaley, Hankison did not follow police protocol during or after the raid. That’s a pretty insulting understatement considering there were no narcotics recovered in the botched narcotics raid and Louisville’s finest didn’t even attempt to get medical attention for Breonna.

“Breonna Taylor should not have died that night,” the prosecutor said. “The city of Louisville in a civil matter … paid millions of dollars to Breonna Taylor’s family, but the money did not bring her back. Nothing will.”

Breonna’s killing is little more than a footnote to the state of Kentucky, but Whaley is clearly thinking of the poor white people who are the victims in Hankison’s case.

“You will hear that he shot into the apartment building, “and you will hear that his bullets went through Apartment 4 into Apartment 3 and nearly hit Cody Etherton as he was walking down the hallway into the dining room of his apartment to see what was going on with the banging,” Whaley said during opening arguments
“This case is about Cody and his partner Chelsea, who was 7 months pregnant at the time, and their 5-year-old son, who was sleeping in the bedroom closest to the front door when the bullets ripped through the apartment and out their sliding glass door, into the night,” she continued.
Defense attorney Stew Mathews opened by saying Hankison’s actions were “logical, reasonable, justified and made total sense,” even though his account of the situation was completely wrong and full of action movie fantasies about the danger Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker posed to police.
“I saw an immediate illumination of fire. What I saw at the time was a figure in a shooting stance. And it looked like he or she was holding an AR-15 rifle, or a long gun,” Hankison said in an interview taped nearly two weeks after the raid. “I was almost under the impression at the time they were all being sprayed with bullets.”
It’s funny how shooting is only a logical response to an armed ambush when cops do it, but not when a Black couple wakes up to a swarm of intruders in the middle of the night. The only one sprayed with bullets that night was Breonna, who was fatally shot eight times by Myles Cosgrove. Black lives clearly don’t matter much since Hankison was fired 3 months after the raid in June 2020, but Cosgrove remained on the force until January of 2021.
According to Sgt. Jason Vance of the Louisville police department’s public integrity unit, there was no evidence of an AR-15 gun, bullets, or anything similar being fired in the apartment. The delusion of rifle-toting criminals was so vivid for Hankison, but when it comes to the shots he fired that night, his memory got conveniently hazy.

“I don’t recall if I fired as I was going back, but I knew where we were at was the worst place we could be. We were all kind of trapped in that common area,” he said.

“As soon as I returned fire through that window the threat stopped,” Hankison continued. “And I felt pretty helpless, like there is no way we can challenge this guy with an assault rifle.”

Imagine how Breonna felt in those last horrifying moments, Brett. Her mother Tamika Palmer said the “the whole trial is disrespectful in itself,” but she’s maintaining a presence during the trial.

“The purpose of Tamika and family members going to the trial is … that Brett has to see, face to face, (that) — you impacted our family. You did something horrible. You need to be convicted. You need to go to prison,” family attorney Lonita Baker told CNN. “But justice for the neighbors is not enough.”

Hankerson is facing 1- 5 years for each of the three felony wanton endangerment charges. Breonna’s family is still waiting for justice nearly 2 years later.



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