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The released police officer believed his colleagues would be “executed” during the assault on Breonna Taylor, according to Grand Jury records



A Kentucky grand jury last week heard a tapping of former detective Brett Hankison speaking to investigators in March. Almost 15 hours of closed camera audio were released on Friday.
No officers directly involved in the raid were charged on charges of Taylor’s death. But Hankison was charged with three willful endangerment in the first degree for allegedly shooting blindly at Taylor’s apartment. He did not plead guilty.

Stewart Matthews, a lawyer for Hankison, told CNN on Friday that he had not received any copies of the grand jury footage but had seen no “surprises” in news reports. CNN asked Matthews for an additional comment on Saturday.

Sometimes during the interview, Hankison sounds overwhelmed with emotion describing when Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly was shot in the leg during the robbery.

“I didn̵

7;t know if John was down there and they couldn’t get his body or if it was him – but all I could hear was the shooting. I saw the blink,” Hankison said. “I thought they were only going to be executed because I knew they were helping John, because John said, ‘I’m hit, I’m down’ and the gunfire increased.”

Another officer, Lt. Shawn Hoover, also remembering Mattingly, said, “I’ve been hit!” According to a taping of his March interview with investigators.

During his interview, Hankison said several times that he saw a tall figure at the end of the hallway of the apartment in a military-style pose, holding a long gun that he believed to be an AR-15 rifle.

An important miscalculation by the officers contributed to the tragic death of Breonna Taylor

Hankison told interviewers that he fired his gun out of fear for his own life and that of his colleagues, because he felt the officers were “sitting ducks”.

Investigators found that Kenneth Walker, Breonna Taylor’s friend, had a 9mm pistol on the scene.

Walker’s attorney Steve Romines told CNN that Walker told crime scene officers that Taylor fired the gun because he was concerned the police might harm him.

“Kenny Walker told the police as soon as they interviewed him on the station that he fired the shot and told them that he told the police at the scene that they shot because he believed they could him kill very well, “said Romines.

Hankison volunteered to work on his day off

The officers carrying out the warrant for Taylor’s home were not in the case and were a “gathering of people thrown together,” Hankison said.

Former Louisville Police Officer Brett Hankison

Hankison said he shouldn’t work that night as it was his scheduled day off. He was not an investigator on the case, but did reply to an “all-call” email asking for help with four planned arrest warrants, he told investigators.

Officers were given minimal information about the location of the robbery around 10 p.m., about two hours before the raid, Hankison said.

“We were all the older folks who got through this because this was going to be the easy place,” Hankison said.

They expected an “easy” night because the prime suspect in the case wasn’t considered there, Hankison said, and they knew that a “heavyweight” woman with little or no criminal record lived there and would likely be alone.

In another recording, Detective Herman Hall, an investigator for the Attorney General’s Office, told the grand jury that he was unaware of an official plan for the officials of the botched robbery.

The official testified that police knocked six or seven times before Breonna Taylor was fatally shot

A juror said Mattingly had told investigators that the officers had a formal plan with specific roles to carry out a series of search warrants that night.

The juror asked if anyone had seen a formal plan that would back up Mattingly’s account.

“No ma’am,” Hall replied. “I did not see it.”

Hall told the panel that the “only plan I saw” was a whiteboard with the addresses of the locations to be raided and the names of the officers involved.

Jurors mutter that they didn’t see the whiteboard. They were shown a photo of the board. Hall pointed out that the address given for Taylor was incorrect.

“Have drugs, money, or paraphernalia been recovered?” Hall said, repeating a question from a panelist.

“The answer to that is no. You failed to carry out the first warrant you had on Breonna Taylor’s apartment.”

CNN’s Ray Sanchez contributed to this report.


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