Four US police officers charged over Breonna Taylor death

She 'should be alive today', Attorney General Merrick Garland says

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The US Justice Department charged four police officers on Thursday over the death of Breonna Taylor, a black woman killed in a botched 2020 raid on her home in Louisville, Kentucky.

Federal charges against former officers Joshua Jaynes, Brett Hankison and Kelly Goodlett, along with Sargeant Kyle Meany were announced by US Attorney Merrick Garland on Thursday.

Mr Garland said federal officials “share but cannot fully imagine the grief” felt by Taylor’s family.

“Breonna Taylor should be alive today,” he said.

The deaths of Taylor and George Floyd, who was murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis in May 2020, became the focus of a wave of mass protests in the US and beyond against racial injustice and police brutality.

Mr Garland said three of the officers — Mr Jaynes, Ms Goodlett and Mr Meany — were charged with falsification of a search warrant in a suspected drug trafficking case.

They are accused of violating Taylor's rights by seeking a warrant to search her home when they knew they lacked probable cause for such a search.

The fourth officer, Mr Hankison, was charged with using excessive force by opening fire wildly during the raid which left Taylor dead.

Mr Hankinson in March was acquitted by a Kentucky jury of endangering Taylor's neighbours when the bullets he fired during the raid hit an adjacent apartment.

News agencies contributed to this report

Updated: August 04, 2022, 10:39 PM