Ex-Detective Admits to Lying on Breonna Taylor Search Warrant

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More than two years after Breonna Taylor’s death, a former police officer has admitted wrongdoing in the tragedy. Former Louisville detective Kelly Goodlett pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday, August 23, to helping falsify a search warrant for Taylor’s home. Goodlett now faces up to five years in prison.

Three other current and former police officers involved in the incident face federal charges. The long-awaited development, which was announced by Attorney General Merrick Garland at a press conference in early August, comes after an in-depth investigation that alleges the Louisville cops lied to get a search warrant and later, after the botched raid on Taylor’s apartment, created a false cover story.

Taylor’s death in March 2020 sparked national outrage after details emerged that the 26-year-old EMT and her boyfriend were lying in bed when the officers busted down her apartment door, supposedly to investigate her ties to a drug dealer, even though the case’s main suspect had already been arrested. They shot more than 30 rounds, leaving Taylor dead on her hallway floor and fueling a wave of protest against racist police brutality.

Six months after the tragedy, a Kentucky grand jury decided none of the officers should face charges directly related to Taylor’s death. Now, the federal indictments fill in yet more alleged details of the injustice: Along with Goodlett, officer Joshua Jaynes was accused of using a false affidavit to get a search warrant for Taylor’s home despite having no probable cause to do so. Prosecutors say the officers then met in a garage and fabricated a story to evade responsibility. Together with officer Kyle Meany, they are accused of violating Taylor’s Fourth Amendment rights by pursuing the raid on false grounds. Goodlett is now expected to serve as an important witness in Janynes’s and Meany’s trials.

Brett Hankison, the officer who shot ten rounds through a window and glass door in Taylor’s home and was recently exonerated on charges that he endangered her neighbors, now faces a two-count federal indictment for use of “unconstitutional excessive force.”

In a June 2020 interview with the Cut, Taylor’s mom, Tamika Palmer, described her daughter as someone who “loved life” and “lit up a room.” Palmer said, “She did everything right. She always wanted to do anything that would help her be a better friend, a daughter, a girlfriend. I was definitely in awe of her.”

“We share, but we cannot fully imagine, the grief felt by Breonna Taylor’s loved ones and all of those affected by the events of March 13, 2020,” Garland said in the August 4 announcement, adding, “Breonna Taylor should be alive today.”

Ex-Officer Admits to Lying on Breonna Taylor Search Warrant