Officer Involved In Breonna Taylor Shooting Accused Of Previously Planting Drugs On Someone, Then Joking About It
A federal lawsuit accuses Brett Hankison of planting drugs and arresting people unnecessarily.
May 19, 2020 at 6:32 pm
One of the officers involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor, a medical technician for the University of Louisville, was accused in a 2019 federal lawsuit of planting drugs on an innocent man.
According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, narcotics detective Brett Hankison allegedly harassed Kendrick Wilson, who said he was arrested multiple times for no reason. Wilson is accusing Hankison of malicious prosecution, violating his constitutional rights in the lawsuit and is looking to be reimbursed for legal fees and punitive damages incurred during multiple arrests.
Wilson said the situation dates back to 2016 when Hankison worked as a security guard for a bar Wilson would frequent.
In the lawsuit, Wilson said they dated the same woman and Hankison later arrested him on an assault charge that was quickly thrown out. In 2018, Hankison arrested Wilson again, this time planting drugs on him, according to the suit.
“He then jokes with other LMPD officers about ‘planting dope’ when Mr. Wilson expressed shock over the locating of these drugs. Also visible on the body camera is an unnamed civilian, who can be heard communicating with Mr. Wilson that he saw an officer drop the drugs on the sidewalk before he retrieved them,” the suit read.
Wilson told the Louisville Metro Police Department’s internal affairs division that Hankison was targeting him in a report, but he was unable to follow through with the complaint. Just one month after filing the report, Hankison arrested Wilson again, this time for a bag of powder that was later proven to not contain any controlled substances.
The lawsuit said a video taken by a bystander at the scene of the arrest shows Hankison accosting Wilson and his girlfriend while telling them “he was planting ‘dope’ again.”
In 2019, police officers from the same department broke down Wilson's door and pointed guns at his girlfriend before handcuffing her during a search. Wilson said the searches were unnecessary and were a direct result of Hankison's personal issues with him.
News of the suit comes as the fury over the shooting death of Taylor has grown over the past month.
#BreonnaTaylor’s family deserves justice.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 12, 2020
It is so dehumanizing that Breonna’s family & many others must launch public campaigns just to have victim’s lives recognized & given the dignity of due process.
She was killed two months ago,& nothing has happened since. #SayHerName ⬇️ https://t.co/wS9NJR8lEC
We’re not talking about #BreonnaTaylor enough! Louisville PD went into the WRONG COMPLEX, WRONG APARTMENT, 20 SHOTS, 8 BULLETS found in Breonna, killing her all over a “drug warrant” gone wrong. pic.twitter.com/Z4DRVM4VnZ— 💫✨ (@TheJessieWoo) May 12, 2020
Taylor, 26, was shot multiple times on March 13 by officers Hankison and Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, who all let off a hail of bullets while executing a search warrant, as Blavity previously reported.
Since her death, the officers have said they were looking for Jamarcus Glover, who was arrested in a separate raid. More than two months later, police have yet to explain why they entered the home without announcing themselves with their guns drawn.
Taylor was in her boyfriend's home that night when police entered. Terrified, Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot his firearm, hitting Mattingly in the leg. The three officers then shot more than 20 bullets, killing Taylor.
They arrested Walker and kept him in jail for two weeks even as he recovered from the shooting.
All three officers have been placed on administrative reassignment.