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DOJ charges 4 current, former police officers in connection with raid that killed Breonna Taylor


U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday that the Department of Justice has filed charges against four former and current Louisville police officers in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor. The charges include civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction offenses.

“The federal charges announced today allege that members of a Police Investigations Unit falsified the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant of Ms. Taylor’s home and that this act violated federal civil rights laws, and that those violations resulted in Ms. Taylor’s death,” Garland said in a news conference.

The federal charges against officer Joshua Jaynes, former Louisville detective Kelly Goodlett and officer Kyle Meany allege that they violated Taylor’s 4th Amendment rights when they sought a warrant to search Taylor’s home while knowing they lacked probable cause, and that they knew their affidavit supporting the contained false and misleading information and omitted other material information, resulting in her death. Goodlett and Jaynes have been charged with conspiracy for allegedly falsifying the affidavit for a search warrant, according to the justice department.

Prosecutors allege that Jaynes and Goodlett met in a garage after Taylor’s death “where they agreed to tell investigators” looking into the botched raid “a false story.”

Charges have also been filed against Brett Hankison a former Louisville Metro Police officer who was involved in the death of Breonna Taylor. Hankison has been charged in a two-count indictment for deprivation of rights under color of law, both of which are civil rights offenses.

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Hankison allegedly used unconstitutional excessive force during the raid when he fired 10 shots through a window and sliding glass door in Taylor’s home that was covered in blinds and curtains after there was no longer a “lawful objective justifying the use of deadly force.”

The Justice Department has had a pattern or practice investigation ongoing into the Louisville Police Department since April 2021. Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke from DOJ’s Civil Rights Division told reporters that the separate investigation remains ongoing and that DOJ has a team on the ground still conducting interviews with stakeholders and conducting ride-alongs with police there.

Garland said he spoke with Taylor’s family earlier Thursday and informed them of the charges.

“We share, but we cannot fully imagine, the grief felt by Breanna Taylor’s loved ones and all of those affected by the events of March 13, 2020. Breonna Taylor should be alive today,” Garland said during a press conference.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

-ABC News’ Alexander Mallin and Jack Date contributed to this report

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