LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday, June 19, that Chief Robert Schroeder has initiated termination proceedings for Det. Brett Hankison.
Hankison is one of three officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, 26, in March.
Fischer says he and Schroeder are unable to answers questions about the timing or reasoning for his pre-termination due to a state law, but the memorandum on his firing lays it out, WLKY reported.
According to his pre-termination letter, he is being fired over his actions the night of Taylor’s death.
The letter says he violated two standard operating procedures: obedience to rules and regulations and use of deadly force.
“Based upon my review, these are extreme violations to our policies. I find your conduct a shock to the conscience,” Schroeder writes in the memorandum.
He said Hankison showed indifference to the value of human life when he fired 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment, which went into a patio door and window that were covered, preventing him from verifying there was an immediate threat.
Schroeder also writes that Hankison was reckless as rounds went into a neighbors apartment.
His letter concludes by saying, “You have never been trained by the Louisville Metro Police Department to use deadly force in this fashion. Your actions have brought discredit upon yourself in the department. Your conduct has severely damaged the image of our Department we have established within our community. The result of your actions seriously impedes the Department’s goal of providing the citizens of our city with the most professional law enforcement agency possible. I cannot tolerate this type of conduct by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Your conduct demands your termination.”
Thus far, no action has been taken against the other two officers involved: Sgt. Jon Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove.
Mattingly was also shot that night by Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend. Officials say Walker fired the first shot. Walker claims he fired because he thought police were intruders.
LMPD was at the apartment that night serving a warrant. Records show a no-knock warrant had been obtained.
Afterward, the Louisville Metro Council unanimously voted 26-0 to pass “Breonna’s Law,” an ordinance that bans LMPD from using no-knock warrants in Jefferson County.
Protesters have been on the streets of Louisville and beyond for more than three weeks straight calling for the officers involved to face consequences in her death.
WLKY reached out to Fraternal Order of Police President Ryan Nichols. He says he will not be issuing a statement, and that he’s unsure at this point what Hankison will do.
The mayor said Friday that he and Schroeder are unable to answer any further questions about the termination due to state law, particularly as due process plays out.
Three days earlier LMPD rank and file as well as retired members called on Fischer to resign. They say downtown looks like a “war zone” due to riots and the mayor’s stand-down order.
George Rodman, a retired member of LMPD, stood in front of hundreds of officers Tuesday at Central Park. His message was clear and concise. He said the men and women, the majority who have worked 20 out of the last 23 days, were mentally and physically exhausted.
The officers, who have stood on the front lines for weeks, he said were ready and deserving of change, Law Officer reported.
“They’re trying to make a difference. They have the same common goals as protesters – a safe and thriving city. No racism. No corruption. Transparency and true leadership,” Rodman said.
Officers blame Fischer’s leadership for plummeting morale.
Fischer says the stand-down orders were coming from Chief Rob Schroeder and the command staff, and acknowledged police were in a difficult position.
Disrespect for Fischer runs deep. Earlier this month video captured police officers walking out on the mayor when he arrived to address them, shortly after terminating then police chief, Steve Conrad.
UPDATE: Officer Brett Hankison was officially fired June 23.