One of the three Louisville police officers involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor has been fired. Brett Hankison was let go on Tuesday, and the Louisville Metro Police Department published his termination letter publicly. Many activists and people in the Louisville community still want to see Hankison and the other officers involved face criminal charges, not just fired from their jobs.
Hankison has 10 days to appeal his firing, according to a report by PEOPLE. However, Chief of Police Robert Schroeder's letter to Hankison made it seem unlikely that there is any forgiveness in store for him. The chief condemned Hankison for "wantonly and blindly" firing his gun in an unfamiliar environment with no regard for the people inside. "These rounds created a substantial danger of death and serious injury to Breonna Taylor and the three occupants of the apartment next to Ms. Taylor's," Schroeder wrote.
Schroeder also argued that Hankison had no "supporting facts" to his claim that Taylor presented a visible threat to him. "In fact," he added, "the 10 rounds you fired were into a patio door and window which were covered with material that completely prevented you from verifying any person as an immediate threat or more importantly any innocent persons present."
"I find your conduct a shock to the conscience," Schroeder concluded. "I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion."
The other two officers involved in killing Taylor, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, remain on administrative leave. There is nothing to suggest that they will be fired like Hankison. However, Taylor's family is still calling for all three of them to face criminal charges for the shooting. "I feel like they took a part of me," Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer told PEOPLE. "This should never have to happen to anyone else again."
Hankison, Mattingly and Cosgrove entered Taylor's apartment on a "no-knock" warrant on the night of March 13 with no apparent warning. The three were searching for two people in connection with a drug investigation, but it turned out that the police already had those two people in custody elsewhere in the city. The three officers fired over 20 shots, hitting Taylor eight times, all while she was asleep in her bed.
Ever since then, activists have been calling for severe consequences for Hankison, Mattingly, Cosgrove and the rest of the LMPD. In addition to murder charges for the three officers, many are now demanding a serious overhaul to the Louisville public safety system, perhaps doing away with the police force as it is known altogether. Hankison's firing reinvigorated this conversation on social media.