Louisville officer fired after being federally charged over Breonna Taylor raid
A Louisville police sergeant facing federal civil rights charges in the 2020 shooting death of Breonna Taylor has been fired. Louisville Metro Police Chief Erika Shields announced Friday that she made the decision to terminate Sgt. Kyle Meany after “careful consideration and not with ease.”
“I fully respect the judicial process and realize Sergeant Meany has yet to be heard before a jury of his peers,” she wrote in a statement obtained by CBS News. “That being said, he is facing multiple federal charges after a lengthy investigation by the DOJ. As an employer, the character of our organization is paramount and it is not reasonable to expect continued employment under such conditions.”
Meany is one of four current and former Louisville police officers who were federally charged on August 4 in connection with the raid that led to Taylor’s shooting death, along with Brett Hankison, Joshua Jaynes and Kelly Goodlett. Hankison and Jaynes have already been fired, and Louisville police reported earlier this month that “termination procedures” were underway for Goodlett and Meany.
The four face various civil rights violations, including unlawful conspiracy, use of force and obstruction of justice. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the civil rights charges against three of the officers stem from alleged falsification of the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant that authorized the early morning raid on Taylor’s apartment.
Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot on March 13, 2020, when Louisville police officers stormed into her apartment where she was asleep with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Walker thought the officers were intruders and fired his handgun at them as they were entering, striking one in the leg. The officers fired 22 shots into the apartment in response, one of which struck Taylor in the chest, killing her.
In charging documents, prosecutors said Goodlett and Jaynes included false and misleading information in an application for the search warrant, specifically that a postal inspector had informed Goodlett that the target of their drug trafficking investigation was receiving packages at Taylor’s address. That was false, prosecutors allege, but Meany, their supervisor, approved the warrant application anyway.
Meany is also accused of lying to investigators about the officers’ unannounced entry into Taylor’s home. According to charging documents, Meany told the FBI that his officers executed the warrant at the request of the SWAT unit, when in fact he knew that the unit did not put in such a request.
In March, Hankison was acquitted by a Kentucky jury on a separate indictment in which he was charged with two counts of deprivation of rights for firing 10 rounds through a window and glass door in Taylor’s apartment.
– Stefan Becket contributed to this report.