LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder said he was "alarmed and stunned" by Officer Brett Hankison's use of "deadly force" the night of Breonna Taylor's death.
In his termination letter, the acting chief said Hankison violated LMPD standard operating procedures when he "blindly" fired ten rounds into Taylor's apartment while executing a no-knock search warrant March 13.
"I find your conduct a shock to the conscience," Schroeder said in the letter. "I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion. You have never been trained by the Louisville Metro Police Department to use deadly force in this fashion."
The letter says Hankison not only created a "substantial danger of death and serious injury to Breonna Taylor," but those in the apartment next to Taylor's. Schroeder said some of the rounds fired traveled into a neighbor's apartment, endangering their lives as well.
"The ten rounds you fired were into a patio door and window which were covered with material that completely prevented you from verifying any person as an immediate threat or more importantly any innocent persons present," the letter says.
Schroeder also said Hankison had previously been disciplined for reckless conduct that "injured a innocent person" on January 9, 2019.
"Your actions have brought discredit upon yourself and the Department," Schroeder said. "Your conduct has severely damaged the image of our Department we have established with our community."
Hankison is the first officer involved in Taylor's case to be fired. The two other officers who were there the night of Taylor's death, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly, remain on administrative reassignment. The detective who approved the no-knock warrant used the night of her death was also placed on administrative reassignment.
Taylor's lawyers said the other officer involved in her murder should also be fired and prosecuted.
"Today’s announcement makes it clear, as we have always maintained, that the city had the power to fire the officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s murder," lawyers said in a statement. "We look forward to them terminating the other officers involved in Bre’s murder."
Neither the mayor nor Schroeder made any additional comments on Hankison's termination, saying a state law will not allow them to comment further.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron and the FBI are both conducting independent investigations on Taylor's death