One officer pleads guilty in Breonna Taylor civil rights case

Source: Hot Air

One of the former Louisville Police officers involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor has pleaded guilty to a single count in the federal civil rights trial of several of the officers who were involved. Former Detective Kelly Hanna Goodlett was not charged with murder or any other aspect of the actual raid on the apartment but instead pleaded guilty to one count of violating Taylor’s civil rights. Her sentencing has initially been set for November, though defense attorneys are saying that the date may need to be moved out further. We’ll look at the details in a moment, but it does seem as if she was clearly guilty of the specific action underlying the charge. (Courier-Journal)

Former Louisville Metro Police Detective Kelly Hanna Goodlett pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiring to violate the civil rights of Breonna Taylor for helping falsify an affidavit for the search of her apartment that ended in her death in March 2020.

Goodlett is expected to be a star witness at the trial of two of her ex-colleagues, Joshua Jaynes and Kyle Meany, when they are tried on civil rights charges in connection with Taylor’s death. A third ex-detective, Brett Hankison, is also charged in a separate federal indictment.

Goodlett, 35, admitted the charge before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings with Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, among those present in the courtroom. She is the first officer to be convicted in connection with Taylor’s death.

At the center of this case was one piece of information about the shooting that I don’t recall seeing previously. It didn’t involve the actions taken at Taylor’s apartment, but rather the procedural steps leading up to the raid. Goodlett confessed to lying about a significant claim when they were applying for the warrant. Specifically, she lied when saying that a postal inspector had verified that Breonna Taylor had been receiving packages at her apartment for her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover. Glover is a convicted drug dealer and he was the true focus of the investigation, but it was suspected that Taylor was still involved in his “business.”

I suppose the question here is whether or not the police could have obtained the warrant without a belief that Taylor was receiving packages on Glover’s behalf. If not, then presumably the raid wouldn’t have happened that night and she might still be alive.

But we should keep in mind that there was far more to the case than just a presumption that Taylor might have been taking deliveries for her former boyfriend. The police had plenty of other evidence showing that the two remained in touch by phone and in person after breaking up, so she was tangential to the investigation at a minimum. Glover had bragged in front of witnesses that Taylor was “holding” thousands of dollars for him in case he was arrested again. They certainly gave the detectives reason to be suspicious.

I’ve maintained from the beginning that this was a tragic accident, not some sort of coordinated, racist attack by the cops. Almost everything that could have gone wrong that night did go wrong. What former Detective Goodlett did was clearly wrong and she should be held accountable for it. But it doesn’t delegitimize the entire investigation.

As to being held accountable, Goodlett is reportedly looking at no more than five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. That seems like a bit much for fudging on a warrant application, but I also won’t be surprised if the prosecution feels under pressure to ask for the maximum sentence to avoid more civil unrest and rioting.