Great Britain

Only cop charged over Breonna Taylor shooting pleads not guilty as judge denies request for gun after ‘death threats’

A FORMER Louisville cop has pleaded not guilty to charges related to the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.

Brett Hankinson, the only officer to be indicted in Taylor’s case, made his plea during a telephone court appearance on Monday afternoon.

Hankinson, who was fired by the Louisville Metro Police Department for his role in the incident, was hit with three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree last week.

On March 13, Taylor was shot dead when Hankison, Detective Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly were executing a no-knock warrant at her apartment as part of an investigation into a suspected drug operation.

Taylor, 26, and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, 27, were asleep at the time of the incident.

After the three officers entered the apartment, Walker, who suspected a home invasion, fired his legal handgun toward the officers.

A bullet struck Mattingly in the leg, before the officers reportedly fired 32 shots into Taylor's apartment, at least five of which struck 26-year-old EMT Taylor, causing her death.

NOT GUILTY PLEA

If convicted, Hankinson – who fire 10 of the shots, according to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron – faces up to five years in prison.

During his phone hearing, the former cop only spoke to indicate that he was present.

He then alerted Judge Anne Bailey Smith that Steward Matthews, his attorney, had not called into the conference.

Matthews then called into the conference shortly after, entering the not guilty plea for his client.

Hankison's bond has been set at $15,000, under the stipulations that he attends every court hearing, even if virtual, and that he gives up all his firearms.

The former cop's attorney asked the judge to reconsider the firearm stipulation, stating that his client had received numerous threats.

Judge Bailey, however, denied the request, saying, "People in this court who are charged with offenses with firearms, I do not allow them to possess firearms as part of their bond."

The next pre-trial date has been set for October 28.

Hankinson's trial comes after months of nationwide protests and calls for justice in Ms. Taylor's case.

Last week a grand jury delivered its indictment against Hankinson.

NATIONWIDE UNREST

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, however, said the officers were justified in their use of force – a verdict that disappointed Taylor's family and their supporters.

The grand jury decision sparked protests across Louisville and other U.S. cities.

According to police, some of these protests turned violent, with the likes of cars and buildings being damaged.

Since the incident, Cosgrove, Mattingly and four other officers have been facing an internal probe by the Louisville Metro Police Department's Professional Standards Unit, according to a spokesman.

This investigation is looking into the officers' actions during the incident.

Two weeks ago, the city of Louisville agree to pay a settlement to Ms. Taylor's family of $12 million over a wrongful death lawsuit.

Several elements of police reform were also included in the settlement, according to reports.

Bodycam shows Breonna Taylor cop groaning after being shot by her boyfriend as lawyer says officer was ‘defending himself’

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