Published: 19:44 BST, 24 September 2020 | Updated: 20:51 BST, 24 September 2020
The Louisville cops involved in Breonna Taylor’s fatal shooting can still face criminal charges despite a grand jury’s decision to indict only one officer on Wednesday.
The FBI said it is continuing its investigation into the 26-year-old EMT’s death, separate to the probe carried out by the Kentucky Attorney General’s office.
Federal officers from the Louisville Field office as well as the bureau’s Civil Rights Division will determine whether cops violated federal law during the March 13 incident.
‘As we have indicated, our investigation is focusing on all aspects of Breonna Taylor’s death,’ an FBI spokesperson said in a statement following the grand jury’s decision.
‘Once our investigation is concluded, we will provide the collected facts to the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division to determine if federal criminal charges are warranted.’
The federal investigation is one of at least five inquiries into Taylor’s shooting that have been launched on a civil, federal and local level, since her death.
The Louisville cops involved in Breonna Taylor’s fatal shooting can still face criminal charges despite a grand jury’s decision to indict former detective Brett Hankinson (left) on Wednesday. Sgt John Mattingly (right) and Detective Myles Cosgrove, who fired shots at Taylor, were not indicted
LMPD Detective Joshua Jaynes (left) was identified as the officer who had obtained the controversial ‘no-knock’ search warrant to Taylor’s apartment that resulted in her death. Detective Myles Cosgrove (right) is believed to have fired the fatal shot
Taylor, 26, was killed alongside her boyfriend Kenneth Walker (right) after cops barged into her apartment while executing a search warrant targeting Glover
Authorities did not specify which potential violations it was investigating however, the FBI’s Civil Rights unit focuses on hate crimes and color of law violations, which include acts carried out by government officials operating both within and beyond the limits of their lawful authority.
Federal authorities can choose to pursue charges on such violations which include excessive force, false arrest, obstruction of justice, and failure to keep from harm.
The deprivation of rights under color of law is punishable by ‘a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any’, under Title 18.
The FBI and its Civil Rights Division will determine whether federal law was violated during the March 13 incident.
The Civil Rights unit investigates hate crimes, color of law violations, and Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act violations.
Under Title 42, the division can also potentially seek charges under the Police Misconduct Statute, which makes it illegal for law enforcement agencies to have ‘policies or practices that foster a pattern of misconduct by employees’.
Authorities can investigate a police department for ‘lack of supervision/monitoring of officers’ actions; lack of justification or reporting by officers on incidents involving the use of force; lack of, or improper training of, officers; and citizen complaint processes that treat complainants as adversaries.’
The FBI has not said that it is investigating the Louisville Metro Police Department for these violations.
On Wednesday, a Jefferson County grand jury announced its decision to indict only one of the three officers involved in the raid after the state opened an investigation into the shooting in May.
Detective Brett Hankison, who was fired in June, was charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for recklessly firing his weapon into Taylor’s apartment and the neighboring home.
Both officers were identified as the cops who fired shots at Taylor. Cosgrove was believed to have fired the bullet that claimed her life, according to the investigation.
State Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the officers were justified in their actions because Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker admitted to opening fire first, and therefore they could not be criminally charged for acting on self-defense.
In the early hours of March 13, Louisville police officers entered apartment 4 of 3003 Springfield Drive, firing 32 times. Breonna Taylor was shot six times, but only one was determined to be fatal
Bullet holes and blood smeared on the walls could be seen in one evidence photo from inside Taylor’s apartment after she was shot dead
He confirmed the investigation into that matter is currently being conducted by federal law enforcement partners.
LMPD Detective Joshua Jaynes was identified as the officer who had requested a search warrant to Taylor’s apartment hours before her death on March 12, in pursuit of her ex-boyfriend and drug suspect Jamarcus Glover.
LMPD Detective Joshua Jaynes (left) requested a search warrant to Taylor’s apartment hours before her death on March 12, in pursuit of her ex-boyfriend and drug suspect Jamarcus Glover (right). Glover was already in custody by the time Louisville officers killed Taylor in a hail of bullets
Cops later carried out the raid in the early hours of March 13, bursting through the door and killing the 26-year-old EMT in a hail of bullets as she stood alongside Walker.
Meanwhile Glover, who was the intended target of the warrant, had already been taken into custody around the same time of the operation, ten miles away.
Jaynes, who was not present during the raid, was placed on administrative reassignment in June after the department launched an investigation into how the controversial warrant was obtained.
Although the officers had been widely reported to have executed the warrant without knocking, it has since been revealed the cops did indeed bang on the door before entering.
However, questions still remain over why cops were allowed to execute the warrant at a residence where the intended target did not live.
Cameron also announced he would soon sign an executive order ‘in coming days’ to create a task force that will review the process for securing, reviewing and executing search warrants in the state.
‘I believe conducting a top to bottom review of the search warrant process is necessary to determine if changes are required and establish best practices,’ Cameron told reporters.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said he will soon sign an executive order to create a task force that will review the process for securing and executing search warrants in the state
Authorities have not confirmed if Jaynes or any other officers are subjects in the federal probe. DailyMail.com has contacted the LMPD for comment.
Cameron said the three officers involved in the March 13 raid, Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly and detectives Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison were not involved in obtaining the search warrant.
He said the three ‘were called into duty as the extra personnel to effectuate the service of the search warrant.’
Fired Louisville detective Brett Hankison (left) was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in connection to the police raid that killed Breonna Taylor (right) on the night of March 13
‘They only had information conveyed to them in their prior briefing. They knocked and announced their presence at the apartment,’ Cameron said.
The LMPD on Tuesday confirmed Jaynes is one of six officers being investigated for violating department policies in a probe led by the department’s Professional Standards Unit.
According to earlier reports, Jaynes had requested a warrant in an affidavit saying he was targeting a suspect believed to be in a ‘trap house’ that was more than 10 miles away from Taylor’s house.
Only later was it revealed that the drug suspect they were looking for was already in custody by the time Louisville officers killed Taylor.
According to a three-page affidavit, Jaynes said Glover had been spotted making ‘frequent trips’ to Taylor’s home and had been receiving suspicious packages there.
He claimed a US postal inspector ‘verified’ that Glover was receiving packages at Taylor’s home, but Louisville inspector Tony Gooden said Louisville police did not ask his office to conduct that investigation, but a different agency did.
He said the local office concluded no potentially suspicious mail was being sent to Taylor’s apartment.
Jaynes wrote he believed Glover may have been ‘keeping narcotics and/or proceeds from the sale of narcotics’ at Taylor’s apartment.
The warrant was to search for drugs, money, weapons, ‘paperwork that may be a record of narcotic sales’ and any electronic records as evidence of drug trafficking.
In his request, Jaynes said the no-knock warrant was necessary because ‘drug traffickers have a history of attempting to destroy evidence, have cameras on the location that compromise Detectives once an approach to the dwelling is made, and have a history of fleeing from law enforcement.’
A Jefferson County grand jury on Wednesday announced its decision to indict former detective Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment in connection to the fatal shooting of Taylor.
Hankison was charged with firing his gun into the home and a neighboring apartment, not over her killing.
The other two cops involved, Sgt Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, were identified as the officers who fired shots at Taylor.
Neither of the officers were indicted on Wednesday after the investigation found they acted in self-defense after Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker admitted to opening fire first.
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News – Louisville cops could still face criminal charges under FBI probe