Jury seated in trial related to Breonna Taylor’s shooting
A jury has been selected in the trial of a former Kentucky police officer involved in the narcotics raid that left Breonna Taylor dead.
Former Louisville officer Brett Hankison’s trial will begin Wednesday morning when lawyers give opening statements. Hankison is charged with wanton endangerment for shooting into the apartment of one of Taylor’s neighbors on the night of the March 2020 raid. He was fired a few months later. Hankison, whose shots did not hit Taylor, is the only officer charged in the botched raid that resulted in Taylor’s death.
Attorneys spent Tuesday selecting the final 15 jurors from a pool of 48. Three of the 15 will be alternate jurors.
On Tuesday morning, half of the 48 remaining prospective jurors were questioned by lawyers in the courtroom as a group. The second half went through a similar question session in the afternoon. Eight of the prospective jurors from the afternoon group — seven men and one woman — were selected for jury service. The other seven remaining jurors selected were from the morning session, so they will be notified by phone that they have been selected.
Court officials initially gathered an expanded pool of 250 potential jurors, to account for the widespread publicity in Taylor’s death, which sparked months of marches and protests in downtown Louisville in the summer of 2020. From that large pool, the remaining 48 were selected after four days of individual questioning this month.
Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who worked as an emergency medical technician, was shot multiple times during a botched narcotics raid on March 13, 2020. Louisville officers kicked in her door using a narcotics warrant and drew fire from Taylor’s boyfriend, who thought an intruder was breaking in. Two officers at the door returned fire, killing Taylor.
One of the officers who shot Taylor, former Louisville police detective Jonathan Mattingly, has invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege and will not testify at the trial due to a pending federal investigation. Jurors will instead hear parts of a video deposition Mattingly gave in a pending civil lawsuit.
The trial is expected to last about two weeks.
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