A former Louisiana officer accused of violating the civil rights of Briona Taylor in 2020 will face a new trial in connection with her death, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.
The news comes after a federal jury deadlocked last month, forcing a mistrial in the case against Brett Hankison.
On March 13, 2020, officers in Louisville, Ky., executed a knock-knock warrant that later turned out to be fraudulent. When they entered the apartment, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, believed the officers were intruders and fired a shot.
The bullet hit one officer in the leg, and three officers, including Hankison, returned fire. Taylor was hit by a single round and died.
But prosecutors charged more force with Hankison, who fired 10 shots inside the apartment.
Prosecutors argued that the other two officers were justified in firing except for Hankison, who switched positions and did not have a clear view of the target. This, they said, was a deliberate attempt at force majeure.
Although Hankison’s shots did not kill Taylor, the bullets entered the neighbor’s apartment and endangered the neighboring family, prosecutors argued.
Following the shooting, Taylor’s name became a rallying cry among Black Lives Matter advocates.
Hankison was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department. Last year, he pleaded not guilty to state criminal charges related to the shooting.
After a two-week federal trial, the jury deliberated for nearly a week. At one point, security was sent into the courtroom after the judge heard yelling from inside, according to the Associated Press.
The judges announced in November that they were deadlocked, despite both the judge and federal prosecutors urging a jury to decide.
Now, the hearing has been held on January 24 and a new date of hearing has been fixed on October 14.
If convicted, Hankison faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
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