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Breonna Taylor killing: Four current and ex-Kentucky police officers charged over fatal shooting

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Four current and former Kentucky police officers are facing charges over the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in Louisville.

The FBI arrested and brought civil rights charges against Joshua Jaynes, Brett Hankison and Kelly Goodlett, along with serving Louisville police Sergeant Kyle Meany.

The development was announced by US Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday, who said the alleged crimes include “civil rights offences, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction offences”.

During an anti-drug raid Ms Taylor, a 26-year-old black medical worker, was shot dead by Louisville officers who had knocked down her door while executing a search warrant.

Mr Garland added: “We also alleged that they conspired to mislead federal, state and local authorities who are investigating the incident.

“For example, we alleged that in May 2020, those two defendants (Jaynes and Goodlett) met in a garage where they agreed to tell investigators a false story.

“The indictment separately alleges that defendant Meany lied to the FBI during its investigation of this matter.”

He also said federal officials “share but cannot fully imagine the grief” felt by Taylor’s family.

Her killing, along with that of George Floyd, fuelled a summer of protests against racial injustice and police violence in America two years ago.

Their deaths came against a background of systemic racism in the US where Black Americans are 3.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white Americans, according to a study last year.

A protestor shows his weapon at the memorial of Breonna Taylor before a march, after a grand jury decided not to bring homicide charges against police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Taylor in her apartment, in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. September 25, 2020. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Ms Taylor was killed when officers in Louisville, Kentucky, carried out a “no-knock” warrant and broke down her apartment door.

Her boyfriend thought it was someone breaking in and fired a single shot in self-defence, hitting one officer in the leg.

Ms Taylor was shot multiple times when police fired dozens of shots in return.

Police were actually searching for an ex-partner of Ms Taylor who did not live at the address and no drugs were found in the property.

Hankinson was acquitted in March by a Kentucky jury of endangering Taylor’s neighbours when the bullets he fired during the raid hit a neighbouring apartment.

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