Lawyers in the trial of a former Kentucky police officer involved in the deadly narcotics raid that left Breonna Taylor dead returned to court Tuesday to finish an extended jury selection process.
The attorneys will attempt to winnow down a pool of 48 people to 12 jurors and three alternates for the trial of former officer Brett Hankison, who is charged with wanton endangerment for shooting into the apartment of one of Taylor’s neighbors on the night of the March 2020 raid. He was fired a few months later. Hankison, whose shots did not hit Taylor, is the only officer charged in the case. None have been charged in connection to Taylor’s death.
On Tuesday morning, half of the 48 remaining prospective jurors were questioned by lawyers in the courtroom as a group. Attorneys asked if anyone had any conflicts with jury service that may have arisen since they were last in court more than a week ago. Three men who said they had work conflicts were dismissed, along with a woman who cited health issues.
The second half of the 48 will go through a similar question session Tuesday afternoon.
Court officials initially gathered an expanded pool of 250 potential jurors, to account for the widespread publicity in Taylor’s death, which sparked months of marches and protests in downtown Louisville in the summer of 2020. From that large pool, the remaining 48 were selected after four days of individual questioning earlier this month.
Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who worked as an emergency medical technician, was shot multiple times during a botched narcotics raid on March 13, 2020. Louisville officers kicked in her door using a narcotics warrant and drew fire from Taylor’s boyfriend, who thought an intruder was breaking in. Two officers at the door returned fire, killing Taylor.
One of the officers who shot Taylor, former Louisville police detective Jonathan Mattingly, has invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege and will not testify at the trial due to a pending federal investigation. Jurors will instead hear parts of a video deposition Mattingly gave in a pending civil lawsuit.
The trial is expected to begin Wednesday and will last about two weeks.