Jury selection for federal charges against Brett Hankison, ex-LMPD officer involved in botched raid that killed Breonna Taylor in March of 2020.
UPDATE 11/3/23: The first few days of Hankison's trial were kept behind closed doors as attorneys questioned roughly 250 potential jurors.
Here's what we learned about the jury selection process:
The initial questionnaire was sent out to 200 potential jurors. It included basic questions like their background and views on excessive force.
More than 80 showed up to court and filled out a second questionnaire specific to this case.
Over 60 potential jurors received follow-up questions by the attorneys and the judge.
After strikes and final excuses, 36 were left on Thursday, and 16 were selected from the pool, as well as four alternates.
The first witness was called before 2 p.m. It's Breonna Taylor’s neighbor, whose apartment was also shot into.
While we don’t know the exact questions that were being asked, we do know they were interested in knowing about each juror’s criminal history, their perception of the police, their thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement and what they already know of the Breonna Taylor investigation.
The jury of 10 men and five women was selected after several days of questioning from a pool expanded to about 250 people. Before deliberations, the jury was reduced to 8 men and 4 women after three alternates were dismissed. Every juror is white, except for one Black man.
For trial details, click HERE.
Video clip courtesy: WLKY News
Hankison is charged with violating the civil rights of Breonna Taylor, Kenneth Walker, and neighbors when he fired blindly into two apartments the night of the raid.
Several questionnaires have been issued to a pool of 44 potential jurors from which 16 shall be eventually chosen. While the exact details of these questionnaires has not been released, many of speculated it's likely in relation to the potential jurors knowledge of the Breonna Taylor case as well as their feelings towards law enforcement.
So far one juror has been excused do to issues relating to school and another is likely to be excused due to him being a retired LMPD officer.
Hankison and other officers involved in the botched warrant that ended Taylor's life were able to escape indictment back in 2020, but at least two members of the grand jury involved in the Breonna Taylor case are accusing Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron of falsely representing their position on potential indictments for the officers involved in Taylor's death.
In August of 2022 the Department of Justice announced federal indictments against three officers involved; Brett Hankison, Kyle Meany, and Joshua Jaynes. This is the first trial to move forward after all were delayed for discovery. "Breonna Taylor should be alive today," Attorney General Merrick Garland said as the U.S. Justice Department announced the charges.
Based on court filings, attorneys may present evidence including 911 calls, body camera video and photos from the scene.
Hankison's is represented by attorneys Ibrahim Farag, Jack Byrd and William Stewart Mathews. The federal prosecutors on the case are from the Department of Justice's civil rights division., Michael Songer and Anna Gotfryd. Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings is overseeing the trial proceedings.
THIS ARTICLE WILL BE UPDATED FOLLOWING MORE INFORMATION.
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