Ex-Louisville cop faces hearing in Breonna Taylor case

Race in America

FILE – In this Sept. 25, 2020, file photo, Black Lives Matter protesters march in Louisville. Hours of material in the grand jury proceedings for Taylor’s fatal shooting by police have been made public on Friday, Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

(NewsNation) — A former Louisville, Kentucky, police officer is expected to appear in federal court Friday on charges connected to the drug raid that led to the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman whose fatal shooting helped fuel the racial justice protests that rocked the nation in 2020.

Former Louisville Metropolitan Police Department officer Kelly Goodlett was among four officers facing charges, including unlawful conspiracy, use of force and obstruction of justice.

Goodlett has pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy, Taylor family attorney Ben Crump said on Aug. 4, though records on her court proceedings were sealed. Goodlett faces up to five years in prison.

Former officers Joshua Jaynes and Brett Hankison, along with current Sgt. Kyle Meany, also face charges.

At the time charges were released, Goodlett was an officer; she submitted her resignation on Aug. 5, The Courier-Journal reported. Louisville Metro Police Chief Erika Shields is seeking to terminate Meany.

Jaynes and Goodlett allegedly conspired to falsify an investigative document that was written after Taylor’s death, Garland said. Federal investigators also allege that Meany, who testified at Hankison’s trial, lied to the FBI during its investigation.

Federal officials filed a separate charge against Goodlett, alleging she conspired with Jaynes to falsify Taylor’s warrant affidavit.

Garland alleged that Jaynes and Goodlett met in a garage in May 2020 “where they agreed to tell investigators a false story.”

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black medical worker, was shot to death by Louisville officers who had knocked down her door while executing a search warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend fired a shot that hit one of the officers as they came through the door and they returned fire, striking Taylor multiple times.

Taylor’s killing sparked protests and calls for racial justice across the country.

The Taylor case also prompted a review of the city’s “no-knock” warrant policy. Officers at Taylor’s door said they knocked and announced they were police even though the warrant didn’t require that. Those types of warrants, used in drug investigations to attempt to prevent the destruction of evidence, were later banned in the city of Louisville.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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