Sunday, February 25

Brett Hankison’s defense remains case, jurors to hear closing statements in next day of trial


The fate of a former Louisville Metro Police officer, on trial for charges connected to the deadly raid on Breonna Taylor’s apartment, will soon be in the hands of the jury. First, the jurors got the chance to hear directly from Brett Hankison. Hankison was quite emotional when he took the stand on Wednesday. He broke down in tears as he tried to explain why he ran to the side of Taylor’s apartment and started firing into a sliding glass door, even though he could not see what or who he was shooting at. “As I made that corner, that percussion, that muzzle flash intensified,” Hankison said. The attorney asked him “Was it your perception that muzzle flash was coming from your fellow officers?” to which Hankison replied, “No, sir.”Hankison was there the night they executed a no-knock search warrant at Taylor’s apartment in March of 2020, almost two years ago.Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a single shot, hitting former Sgt. Jon Mattingly in the thigh. “I knew sergeant, excuse me, I knew Sgt. Mattingly was down and I knew, I knew they were trying to get to him, and it appeared to me they were being executed with this rifle,” Hankison said through tears. The attorney asked him what he did then to which Hankison replied that he returned fire. He fired several rounds into the sliding glass door of Taylor’s apartment, three of which entered the apartment of her neighbors, who testified earlier in the trial.”I saw Ms. Napper, Mr. Etherton up here, for the first time, and I felt sincere empathy for them,” Hankison said of the neighbors. “That was something, if my daughter was shot at, or bullets came into our house, that would be very concerning, and I apologize to her for that.”However, prosecutors challenged Hankison’s rationale for shooting into the side door, not knowing who he could have hit with gunfire. “Were you concerned that if you shot through the sliding glass door you would hit one of your fellow officers?” asked a prosecutor. Hankison replied, no. “Did you feel really guilty running out of the breezeway leaving your fellow officers in the fatal funnel?” the prosecutor asked. “I did not,” Hankison said. Before the defense rested their case, Hankison did address Breonna Taylor’s family by saying that she did not need to die that night, by which the prosecution called for an objection. Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday morning.

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The fate of a former Louisville Metro Police officer, on trial for charges connected to the deadly raid on Breonna Taylor’s apartment, will soon be in the hands of the jury.

First, the jurors got the chance to hear directly from Brett Hankison.

Hankison was quite emotional when he took the stand on Wednesday.

He broke down in tears as he tried to explain why he ran to the side of Taylor’s apartment and started firing into a sliding glass door, even though he could not see what or who he was shooting at.

“As I made that corner, that percussion, that muzzle flash intensified,” Hankison said.

The attorney asked him “Was it your perception that muzzle flash was coming from your fellow officers?” to which Hankison replied, “No, sir.”

Hankison was there the night they executed a no-knock search warrant at Taylor’s apartment in March of 2020, almost two years ago.

Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a single shot, hitting former Sgt. Jon Mattingly in the thigh.

“I knew sergeant, excuse me, I knew Sgt. Mattingly was down and I knew, I knew they were trying to get to him, and it appeared to me they were being executed with this rifle,” Hankison said through tears.

The attorney asked him what he did then to which Hankison replied that he returned fire.

He fired several rounds into the sliding glass door of Taylor’s apartment, three of which entered the apartment of her neighbors, who testified earlier in the trial.

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“I saw Ms. Napper, Mr. Etherton up here, for the first time, and I felt sincere empathy for them,” Hankison said of the neighbors. “That was something, if my daughter was shot at, or bullets came into our house, that would be very concerning, and I apologize to her for that.”

However, prosecutors challenged Hankison’s rationale for shooting into the side door, not knowing who he could have hit with gunfire.

“Were you concerned that if you shot through the sliding glass door you would hit one of your fellow officers?” asked a prosecutor. Hankison replied, no.

“Did you feel really guilty running out of the breezeway leaving your fellow officers in the fatal funnel?” the prosecutor asked.

“I didn’t,” Hankison said.

Before the defense rested their case, Hankison did address Breonna Taylor’s family by saying that she did not need to die that night, by which the prosecution called for an objection.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday morning.


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