AG Garland announced federal charges against the cops who killed Breonna Taylor

I genuinely believe that President Biden has filled his Cabinet and sub-cabinet positions with worthy, qualified, intelligent and sane people. But most days, I really miss Eric Holder. Holder was President Obama’s Attorney General and Holder was a real one. He used the power and authority of the DOJ to fight corruption, racism, sexism and sexual violence within police forces. Biden’s AG Merrick Garland hasn’t done much of that in his first eighteen months as America’s top lawyer. Garland has been rightly criticized for being slow on the draw when it comes to gun violence, hate crimes, protecting reproductive rights at the federal level and, of course, pursuing investigations and prosecutions for the last administration’s high crimes and misdemeanors.

I bring this up because on Thursday, suddenly the spirit of Eric Holder entered the milquetoast body of Merrick Garland. Garland’s DOJ has completed their (very quiet) investigation into the Louisville police department, specifically in regard to the murder of Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020. Four of the cops responsible for murdering Taylor have now been charged with federal crimes in connection with that night.

Four current and former Louisville officers are facing federal charges in connection with the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor — including excessive force, falsifying information on the search warrant that led to the killing and staging a coverup, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday.

Kelly Goodlett, Joshua Jaynes and Kyle Meany are accused of falsifying information on a search warrant before and after Taylor, 26, was killed in March 2020, sparking a wave of racial justice protests across the country. Brett Hankison is charged with two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law.

Hankinson and Jaynes were fired from the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department earlier, after being accused of wrongdoing related to Taylor’s death, though Jaynes is suing to get his job back. A Louisville police spokesperson said in a statement that Chief Erika Shields “began termination procedures” for Meany and Goodlett on Thursday.

The counts announced Thursday are the first federal charges brought against any of the officers stemming from the raid.

At a news conference at Justice Department headquarters in downtown Washington, Garland said that the officers not only violated Taylor’s Fourth Amendment rights but also knew the allegations listed in the indictments would lead to a dangerous situation — one that “resulted in Ms. Taylor’s death.”

“Breonna Taylor should still be alive,” Garland said at a news conference.

[From WaPo]

The Louisville PD did their own investigation into the raid and all but one of those cops escaped even being charged at the state level. The one cop who was charged, Brett Hankison, was acquitted of wanton endangerment in court this past March. Now Hankinson will face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted on “using unconstitutional force.” Now at the federal level, Jaynes and Meany are being charged with federal civil rights and obstruction offenses for “preparing and approving the search warrant affidavit that contained false information and led to the raid.” DOJ also has Goodlett and Jaynes meeting post-raid to work out their stories and what lies they would tell about how it all went down. Which is criminal conspiracy.

Photo courtesy of Instar, covers courtesy of O Magazine and Vanity Fair.

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28 Responses to “AG Garland announced federal charges against the cops who killed Breonna Taylor”

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  1. Southern Fried says:

    Reading about this made me more emotional than I expected. Breonna’s horrific murder and zero justice has been an open wound.

  2. ThatsNotOkay says:

    I’m too weary to be hopeful.

  3. Seaflower says:

    I got all teary when I saw this earlier today.

  4. ELX says:

    MG is not a wimp. He is a really smart lawyer and prosecutor. I know it doesn’t make for news or gossip, but prosecutors who bring winnable cases, the kind that actually send criminals to jail, don’t telegraph the punch. You want the prey you are hunting to relax and believe they got away with it when all the time you are gathering admissible evidence and building a case they can’t beat. I suspect a fairly large number of folks who thought they successfully skated from various kinds of f*cking around are about to really find out.

    • C-Shell says:

      Perfectly said. And now Trump’s lawyers are in talks with DoJ — they are, indeed, finding out.

    • Gillysirl says:

      Not broadcasting your strategy and not being a media “darling” doesn’t make you “milquetoast”. Background work was needed to make sure that they had a solid case – just like with Trump. This is moving forward in a way that makes convictions much more likely.

    • TIFFANY says:

      Thank you. He is not and he record on domestic terrorists speaks for itself. And don’t even get me started on this re writing of history on AG Holder.

    • Colby says:


      You only get one shot to prosecute someone in this country – You have to really make it count.

      I would prefer a meticulously case put together quietly and over time than a loud, hurried case any day.

  5. girl_ninja says:

    I think Merrick Garland has been crossing his i’s and dotting his t’s and has taken painstaking care with the cases that his office will take on. The insurrection was on January 6th and AG Garland was confirmed on March 10th. I think he’s taken the right amount of time and I am grateful that Breonna Taylor’s murderers will be answer for her death and all of their crimes.

    • ELX says:

      Bury’em under the jail.

      • Both Sides Now says:

        Exactly!! Breonna Taylor deserves to have her murderers brought to justice. I was delighted to read of this news last night. May this bring peace and justice for all of those that loved Ms. Taylor. She deserves justice.

  6. Louise177 says:

    Fingers crossed that justice will be served.

  7. Marilee says:

    Can someone explain to me how these are federal crimes? I didn’t even realize those L’ville cops could be charged again.

    • CourtneyB says:

      Only the one cop was ever charged and that was for endangering her neighbors by recklessly firing his weapon.

      • Marilee says:

        But how did this become a federal crime and not a state crime? Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful these officers will have to answer for what they’ve done, but I’m just confused.

    • TwinFalls says:

      “federal civil rights and obstruction offenses“

  8. CourtneyB says:

    They like to say a grand jury didn’t find anything except for the one guy. BUT the DA didn’t ask the grand jury to consider any charges related to her death. Just the firing into the apartment. Can’t find on something you don’t have evidence presented on. It was a nasty little legal sleight of hand by a Trump leaning DA. And the AG was African American and the right hid behind that too.

  9. JanetDR says:

    Very glad that this is being pursued by the feds. It won’t bring her back, but maybe it will lessen the chances of it happening to someone else.

  10. Amanda says:

    Merrick Garland is doing the work. Officers around the country: take notice – your local politics will not protect you from your grift.

    May this bring some peace to the family of Breonna Taylor and those who loved her.

  11. Queenmumanne says:

    I live in Louisville and this crime was horrific on so many levels. The police should have been tried for murder and found guilty. I hope & pray these 4 will be found guilty and put away for a long time. There should be Justice for Breonna and her family. Our attorney general, Daniel Cameron, should be indicted, for covering up the crime to the grand jury. Instead, as mitch McConnell’s puppet, he is running for governor & is an avid forced birther. How the police treated the protesters in louisville after breonna’s murder was also horrific. Most protesters were very peaceful, yet were met with rubber bullets and teargas. It truly led to a loss of trust in the police here in Louisville.

  12. MrsF2u says:

    The article highlights Garland – but this is Ms Clarke’s very well done job!

  13. CindyP says:

    I think your being very unfair to the AG. Do you have inside info as to what he doing or not doing?? Calling him “milquetoast” is disrespectful

    • CourtneyB says:

      Well he never even presented evidence of wrongful death to the grand jury but then acted liked they’d refused to indict or found reason to. He thus created further division because people thought the officers had been cleared. Which they were not. It was pretty sleazy.

  14. Deering24 says:

    What angers me the most is how the detective didn’t care if the information about Taylor was wrong because he figured “all those baby mamas and girlfriends of dealers automatically hid cash for their boyfriends.” He didn’t care that Taylor had a life of her own unconnected with drugs; he didn’t care the couple wasn’t together anymore. Because she once dated this guy, she just had to be a trashy accomplice. 🤬🤬🤬