Jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict on federal civil rights charges Thursday in the trial of a former Louisville police officer charged in Breonna Taylor’s death, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial.
Brett Hankison was charged with using excessive force that violated the rights of Breonna Taylor, her boyfriend and her next-door neighbors. Hankison fired 10 shots into Taylor’s window and a glass door after officers came under fire during a flawed drug warrant search on March 13, 2020. Some of his shots flew into a neighboring apartment, but none of them struck anyone.
The 12-member, mostly white jury struggled to reach a verdict over several days. On Thursday afternoon, they sent a note to the judge saying they were at an impasse. U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings urged them to keep trying, and they returned to deliberations.
The judge reported that there were “elevated voices” coming from the jury room at times during deliberations this week, and court security officials had to visit the room. Jurors then told the judge Thursday they were deadlocked on both counts against Hankison, and could not come to a decision — prompting Jennings’ declaration of a mistrial.
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