On Thursday, Nov. 16, a 12-member, mostly white jury deadlocked in the case of Brett Hankison, the ex-officer who was charged with using excessive force that violated Taylor’s rights as well as her boyfriend’s and next-door neighbors’, per the Associated Press.
The deadlock prompted U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings to declare a mistrial.
On March 13. 2020, Hankison fired 10 shots into Taylor’s window and glass door as officers conducted a botched raid of her apartment. Some of the shots hit a neighboring apartment, but no one was injured.
Federal prosecutor Michael Songer argued that Hankison “was a law enforcement officer, but he was not above the law.” Songer said Hankison couldn’t see a target and fired blindly into Taylor’s building knowing it was wrong.
However, Hankison’s attorney, Stewart Mathews, claimed his client fired the shots because he believed his officers were being “executed” by someone shooting inside Taylor’s apartment. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had fired a single shot when police burst through the door, believing they were intruders.
“If his perception was reasonable in the chaos of that moment, that was not criminal,” Mathews said.
Following the mistrial, federal prosecutors will determine whether Hankison faces a retrial.