A Louisville police sergeant facing federal civil rights charges in connection with the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in 2020 has been terminated. Friday, Louisville Metro Police Chief Erika Shields revealed that she terminated 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, along with Brett Hankison, Joshua Jaynes, and Kelly Goodlett, who were federally charged on August 4 in connection with the raid that resulted to the shooting death of Taylor. Hankison and Jaynes have already been fired, and Goodlett and Meanes are through “termination processes,” as reported by the Louisville police earlier this month.
The four are charged with multiple violations of civil rights, including unlawful conspiracy, use of force, and obstruction of justice. Attorney General Merrick Garland of the United States stated that the civil rights charges against three of the officers derive from the alleged manipulation of the document used to obtain the search warrant that enabled the early morning raid on Taylor’s flat.
Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot on March 13, 2020, when Louisville police officers entered her residence as she and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were sleeping. Walker mistook the officers for intruders and shot one of them in the leg with his firearm as they entered the building. In response, the officers fired 22 shots into the apartment, one of which struck Taylor in the chest, resulting in her death.
Prosecutors alleged in charge documents that Goodlett and Jaynes submitted false and deceptive information in their application for the search warrant, namely that a postal inspector told Goodlett that the subject of their drug trafficking investigation was receiving shipments at Taylor’s address. Prosecutors contend that this was incorrect, but Meany, their supervisor, nonetheless accepted the warrant application.
Meany is also accused of lying to investigators regarding the unexpected entry of police officers into Taylor’s residence. According to the documents, Meany informed the FBI that his officers executed the warrant at the request of the SWAT unit, despite the fact that he knew the unit had not made such a request.
A Kentucky jury acquitted Hankison in March on a second indictment charging him with two counts of deprivation of rights for firing ten shots through a window and glass door of Taylor’s apartment.