US charges four officers over botched 2020 raid

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US charges four officers over botched 2020 raid

Four Louisville police officers in the US state of Kentucky have been charged with roles in the botched 2020 raid that killed Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician.

The department confirmed on Thursday that the Louisville police fired two of the four officers, Kelly Goodlett and Kyle Meany, on Thursday. The two officers who were involved in the raid, Brett Hankison and Joshua Jaynes, had previously been fired by the department.

The federal charges the four are facing are part of the Department of Justice's latest effort to crack down on abuse and racial disparities in policing after a wave of police killings of black Americans.

The former officers were charged with civil rights violations for using excessive force to obtain the search warrant that allowed the botched raid that Ms Taylor was killed and then covered up the falsification.

Breonna Taylor should be alive today, according to the US Attorney-General Merrick Garland, who spoke at a news conference.

The Justice Department is committed to protecting the civil rights of every person in this country. That is our mission, and it remains our urgent mission. Ms Taylor's death on March 13, 2020, was one of several high-profile black deaths around that time that eventually tipped off a summer of protests against racial injustice and police violence in the early months of the COVID-19 epidemic.

In the first eight months of 2020, police killed 164 black people, according to CBS News in the US.

This week, lawyers for the Taylor family released a statement on their behalf, saying: Today was a huge step toward justice. The Justice Department is investigating whether or not the Louisville Metro Government and Louisville police have engaged in a pattern or practice of abusing residents' civil rights.

The Louisville police were investigating alleged drug traffickers when they broke down the door of Ms Taylor's home in a no-knock raid.

This lead to her boyfriend, who was carrying a legally owned firearm, to shoot at the officers, who then fired 22 shots into the apartment, killing Ms Taylor, prosecutors said.

The killing of Ms Taylor, along with other high-profile 2020 killings, including Ahmaud Arbery on February 23 in Brunswick, Georgia and George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis, helped spark nationwide as well as international protests under the banner of Black Lives Matter.