DYLAN LOVAN

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- The federal government filed civil rights charges Thursday against four Louisville police officers over the drug raid that led to the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman whose fatal shooting helped fuel the racial justice protests that rocked the nation in 2020.

The charges are another effort to hold law enforcement accountable for the killing of the 26-year-old medical worker after one of the officers was acquitted of state charges earlier this year.

“Breonna Taylor should be alive today,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in announcing the charges, which include unlawful conspiracy, use of force and obstruction of justice.

The charges were named former officers Joshua Jaynes and Brett Hankison, along with current officers Kelly Goodlett and Sgt. Kyle Meany. Most of the charges stem from the faulty drug warrant used to search Taylor’s home.

Hankison was the only officer charged Thursday who was on the scene that night. Louisville police said they are seeking to fire Goodlett and Meany.

Taylor was shot to death by officers who knocked down her door while executing a search warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend fired a shot that hit one of the officers as they came through the door, and they returned fire, striking Taylor multiple times.

Local activists and members of Taylor’s family celebrated the charges and thanked federal officials. Supporters gathered in a downtown park and chanted: “Say her name, Breonna Taylor!”

“This is a day when Black women saw equal justice in America,” family lawyer Benjamin Crump said.

Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, said she has waited nearly 2 1/2 years for police to be held accountable.

“Today’s overdue, but it still hurts,” she said. “You all (are) learning today that we’re not crazy.”

The Justice Department is also conducting a non-criminal investigation of the Louisville Police Department, announced last year, that is probing whether the department has a pattern of using excessive force and conducting unreasonable search and seizures.

In the protests of 2020, Taylor’s name was often shouted along with George Floyd, who was killed less than three months after Taylor by a Minneapolis police officer in a videotaped encounter that shocked the nation.

Feds charge 4 police officers in fatal Breonna Taylor raid
By  Associated Press
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The federal government has filed civil rights charges against four Louisville police officers over the drug raid that led to the death of Breonna Taylor. She was a Black woman whose fatal shooting in Kentucky helped fuel the racial justice protests that rocked the nation in 2020. Most of the charges stem from the faulty drug warrant used to search her home. The charges include unlawful conspiracy, use of force and obstruction of justice. Only one officer charged Thursday was on the scene the night of the killing. Taylor's mother said she has waited years for police to be held accountable.