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Judge sets court date in Brett Hankison’s federal trial

Brett Hankison leaves the courtroom
Brett Hankison leaves a courtroom after his trial in Kentucky state court in March 2022.

The federal trial against former Louisville Metro Police Department officer Brett Hankison has been pushed to next year after Hankison waived his right to a speedy trial. 

U.S. Attorneys and Hankison’s defense attorney agreed to an August 21, 2023 start date with federal Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings. 

The U.S. Department of Justice indicted Hankison on federal civil rights charges, along with two other former LMPD officers, last month. Another former officer was charged “on information.”

Hankison has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

Specifically, the federal charges allege that Hankison willfully used unjustified and unconstitutional excessive force. These charges stem from Hankison firing his gun into a covered window and glass door when officers raided the home of Breonna Taylor in March 2020.

He is the only officer facing federal charges who was present the night of the raid. Police shot and killed Taylor that night. 

People gathered in the streets of downtown Louisville for more than 100 nights straight later that summer to protest. 

In March, Hankison was acquitted on three counts of felony wanton endangerment at a state level. At the time, he was the only officer charged in relation to the raid on Taylor’s home. 

Grady Jennings set a final pretrial conference for July 18.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.

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