Brett Hankison pleads not guilty to charges related to Breonna Taylor shooting
On Monday, former Louisville Metro Police Department Detective Brett Hankison, the only Louisville cop who was indicted in relation to Breonna Taylor’s fatal shooting, pleaded not guilty to the charges in court.
It is reported that he pleaded not guilty to all three counts of wanton endangerment during his arraignment. According to Judge Ann Bailey Smith, Hankison is not allowed to possess firearms as he awaits the court’s decision.
However, Attorney Stewart Mathews requested to allow his client to carry a gun, as Hankison allegedly received several threats. But the lawyer’s request was denied by Smith and she clarified that she does not allow those who have been charged with offenses involving guns to have such weapons.
Just last week, the indictment was announced by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. In Kentucky, wanton endangerment is classified as a Class D felony. In case the former detective is convicted, he could face up to five years for each count.
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove - two other two officers who were involved in the incident were not charged, although according to Cameron, Cosgrove was the officer who fired the shot that led to death of Taylor.
According to the attorney general, the two officers were “justified” in the shooting as it is alleged that Taylor’s boyfriend first fired the gun. Both Mattingly and Cosgrove were protected from criminal charges due to the state’s self-defense laws. However, Hankison “blindly” fired his weapon at Taylor’s apartment and a few bullets ended up at the apartment of Taylor’s neighbors.
During the weekend, the case’s evidence got leaked online, which includes bodycam footage and a ballistics report, which reportedly proves that Taylor’s boyfriend did not shoot Mattingly in the leg. Interim Chief Robert Schroeder has stated that the department is working in tandem with the attorney general's office and the FBI, in order to see what information can be released to the public without hurting their pending investigation.
Hankison’s next court date is set for Oct. 28.