A judge declared a mistrial on Thursday in the civil rights trial of the former Louisville Metro Police Department detective federally charged in connection with the fatal March 2020 shooting of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, Lauren Mascarenhas reports for CNN. The judge declared the mistrial after jurors informed the court they were deadlocked and unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Prosecutors said Brett Hankison used unjustified force the night Taylor was killed and violated her civil rights and those of her boyfriend and next-door neighbors.
According to the federal indictment against him, Hankison fired multiple shots into Taylor’s home, some of which traveled through a wall she shared with her neighbors, when there was “no longer a lawful objective justifying the use of deadly force.” Hankison denied the charges, which were the first federal counts leveled against any of the officers involved in the botched raid. They were filed after a jury in state court acquitted Hankison in March 2022 of three counts of felony wanton endangerment in connection with the raid. The federal charges were two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law: one count for Taylor and one count for three of her neighbors. Hankison’s lawyers told the jury he was trying to save the other officers in the home by shooting through the windows at what he believed was a person armed with an A-R rifle