Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has announced an investigation into the sexual assault allegations by two women against Officer Brett Hankison, one of the cops involved in the shooting and killing of Breonna Taylor.
Taylor, a Black 26-year-old who worked as an emergency medical technician, was sleeping in her bed on the night of March 13 when police forcefully entered her home on a wrongful drug warrant. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, feared that someone was breaking into their apartment and opened fire at the doorway, hitting an officer in the leg. The police squad then fired more than 20 rounds into the apartment, at least eight of which hit Taylor, killing her.
Her death has made national headlines as thousands across the country have taken to the streets to demand justice for her loss and countless other Black lives. And now, the two women who alleged Hankison sexually assaulted them, Margo Borders and Emily Terry, have shared their stories on social media (read their stories below).
In an announcement last week, Mayor Fischer asked for a broader review regarding their allegations. While the Louisville Metro Police Department had previously opened an investigation into the allegations, they "are also investigating this matter jointly under the auspices of the Kentucky Public Corruption/Civil Rights Task Force, which consists of FBI, LMPD, KSP, and the KY AG's office," a press release reads.
The announcement also states that Fischer has asked for Hankison's removal from the Louisville Police Merit Board. "Given the very serious allegations against him and investigations by the Attorney General and the FBI, it is profoundly inappropriate for him to be in this role," the mayor wrote in a letter. "In the event the FOP does not act, we will work with the Metro Council and Jefferson County Attorney's office to find other ways to remove him from the board."
— Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) June 11, 2020
An LMPD spokesperson also told the Courier Journal, "We are aware of these posts, and investigators are looking into the allegations. If anyone has information about these cases, we encourage them to call (502) 574-7144."
Two weeks ago, Margo Borders included the following in a Facebook post.
In April of 2018 I went out to a bar with some friends. I went to call an uber home and a police officer who I had interacted with on many occasions at bars in St. Matthews offered me a ride home. He drove me home in uniform, in his marked car, invited himself into my apartment and sexually assaulted me while I was unconscious. It took me months to process what had happened and to realize that it wasn’t my fault and I didn’t ask for that to happen by allowing him to give me a ride home. I never reported him out of fear of retaliation. I had no proof of what happened and he had the upper hand because he was a police officer. Who do you call when the person who assaulted you is a police officer? Who were they going to believe? I knew it wouldn’t be me. In March of 2020 that same officer and two others (John Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove) entered the home of Breonna Taylor under a no-knock warrant and with absolutely no regard for anyone’s life shot over 22 rounds murdering Breonna Taylor while she was sleeping.
Afterward, Emily Terry spoke out with another sexual assault allegation against Hankison, this time via Instagram.
"This is Brett Hankison," she wrote, captioning a photo of the officer in his uniform. "In early fall, I began walking home from a bar intoxicated. A police officer pulled up next to me and offered me a ride home. I thought to myself, 'Wow. That is so nice of him.' And willingly got in. He began making sexual advances towards me; rubbing my thigh, kissing my forehead, and calling me 'baby'. Mortified, I did not move. I continued to talk about my grad school experiences and ignored him. As soon as he pulled up to my apartment building, I got out of the car and ran to the back. My friend reported this the next day, and of course nothing came from it."
Terry continued, sharing her reaction to learning that Hankison was one of the officers involved in Taylor's death. "Flash forward, I see his face. This face. Involved with the shooting of Breonna Taylor," she wrote.
This is Brett Hankison. In early fall, I began walking home from a bar intoxicated. A police officer pulled up next to me and offered me a ride home. I thought to myself, “Wow. That is so nice of him.” And willingly got in. He began making sexual advances towards me; rubbing my thigh, kissing my forehead, and calling me “baby”. Mortified, I did not move. I continued to talk about my grad school experiences and ignored him. As soon as he pulled up to my apartment building, I got out of the car and ran to the back. My friend reported this the next day, and of course nothing came from it. Flash forward, I see his face. This face. Involved with the shooting of Breonna Taylor. I then find out he has a history of corrupt behavior. He has had multiple sexual assault allegations, and was in a federal lawsuit over planting narcotics on a black man to arrest him. Not all cops are bad, but this one is. Right now, Mr. Hankison is walking free. Reading this, I hope you know this is not about me, but the reform that needs to take place. Please use your voices to speak up of the injustice occurring throughout our community. #silenceisviolence #sayhername #breonnataylor
A post shared by Emily Terry (@emily_terry1) on Jun 4, 2020 at 9:26am PDT
Taylor's death has sparked renewed interest in a federal lawsuit also involving Hankison. According to the Courier Journal, Kendrick Wilson filed the suit against Hankison in October 2019, alleging that he harassed suspects by unnecessarily arresting and planting drugs on them. Hankison denies all allegations in the lawsuit.
Wilson's suit says that he was arrested by Hankison three times in 2016 and 2018 at bars where the officer occasionally worked off-duty. They also reportedly interacted outside of the arrests, "including over a relationship with the same woman."
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