LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Jury selection in the trial of a former Kentucky police officer involved in the deadly raid that killed Breonna Taylor is scheduled to resume after a week of delays.
The first questioning of prospective jurors in Brett Hankison‘s wanton endangerment trial is slated to get underway on Tuesday. It was set to begin last week but was delayed by inclement weather and after Hankison had to have minor surgery.
The former officer is not charged in the death of Taylor, who was shot to death in a botched 2020 narcotics raid. But prosecutors said Hankison fired shots during the raid that went into a neighboring apartment, endangering others.
Two other officers who fired bullets that struck Taylor were not charged. Taylor’s boyfriend fired a shot that struck one of those officers, Jonathan Mattingly, in the leg. The boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he feared an intruder was breaking into Taylor’s ground floor apartment.
Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who worked as an emergency medical technician, was shot multiple times. No drugs were found in her apartment, and the warrant used to enter by force was later found to be flawed. The case also shined a light on the use of “no knock” warrants, which were later banned in Louisville.
The jury pool was widened to about 250 because of heavy publicity surrounding Taylor’s death and racial injustice protests that took place in Louisville throughout 2020. Prospective jurors will be questioned separately, about 20 a day, to find out if any cannot be impartial on the question of Hankison’s guilt. Jury selection is expected to take multiple weeks.
Hankison has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, a low-level felony that carries a prison sentence of one to five years.
Jefferson Circuit Judge Ann Bailey Smith denied Hankison’s request last year to move the trial out of Louisville. He had argued that publicity surrounding the case would make it hard to seat an impartial jury.
Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.