OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The Biden Justice Department has leveled federal charges against four current and former Louisville, Ky., police officers in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor.
The officers “were arrested on Thursday and charged with civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction offenses, Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference Thursday,” CNN reported.
“Joshua Jaynes, Kelly Goodlett and Kyle Meany were charged with submitting a false affidavit to search Taylor’s home, and then worked together to create a ‘false cover story in an attempt to escape responsibility for their roles in preparing the warrant affidavit that contained false information,'” CNN added, citing the Justice Department.
Meanwhile, Brett Hankison was indicted by the DOJ on two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law; CNN reported that an attorney for Hankison declined to comment.
The network went on to report that the charges are the first brought by the federal government against any of the officers who were involved in a 2020 raid that left Taylor, who was an EMT, dead. Hankison was charged with three felony charges of wanton endangerment by the state but was acquitted in March on all three counts.
In October 2020, the Louisville Police Department released thousands of pieces of evidence that included photographs, videos, and other materials regarding an internal probe following Taylor’s death showing her brandishing a firearm and her boyfriend — who fired on one officer wounding him in the leg — selling drugs.
BizPac Review noted:
The department released 4,470 pages of documents that include investigative reports, evidence reports, and summaries of interviews. In addition, the department also released 251 videos and hundreds of photos, one of which shows Taylor posing with boyfriend Kenneth Walker flashing guns and labeled, “Partners in Crime.”
Taylor was killed by police during a March 13 in which Walker fired at, and wounded, one of the officers, who responded by firing dozens of shots in return. Reports said Taylor was struck eight times.
The evidence released by the Louisville Metro Police Department includes text messages that suggest very strongly that Walker was selling illegal drugs.
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) October 8, 2020
The wounded officer, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, pushed back on media reports claiming that the shooting was racially motivated. He also lamented the fact that he and the other officers involved in the incident were under a gag order by the department at the time and could not refute “misinformation.”
“It’s been excruciating. When you have the truth right there in your hands and everything else is getting crammed around you, it’s frustrating,” he said in an exclusive interview with ABC News and the Louisville Courier Journal.
He went on to note that he begged the mayor’s office to release the actual facts in the case but was told that wouldn’t happen because officials did not want to “set precedent” for future cases.
“My response to that was, ‘So you’re willing to let the city burn down to not set a precedent for another case?’” he said.
“A lot of (the) flames that have come up, a lot of this stuff could have been diverted. Now, would people still have a problem with it? Yes. But I think with the truth coming out, then you wouldn’t have as much distrust,” Mattingly added.
“[T]his is not relatable to George Floyd. This is nothing like that. It’s not Ahmaud Arbery. It’s nothing like it. These are two totally different types of incidences. It’s not a race thing like people wanna try to make it to be. It’s not. This is not us going, hunting somebody down. This is not kneeling on a neck. It’s nothing like that,” he said.
He noted further, “This had nothing to do with race. Nothing at all.”