US & Canada

Breonna Taylor: Kenny Stills arrested during Kentucky protest

US football player Kenny Stills Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Football player Kenny Stills said he was protesting peacefully

American Football player Kenny Stills was among 87 people arrested for protesting outside the home of Kentucky's attorney general over the police killing of Breonna Taylor.

They were charged with intimidating a participant in the legal process and other misdemeanour counts.

Breonna Taylor, an African-American woman, was fatally shot when officers entered her flat on 13 March.

One officer has been fired and two others placed on administrative leave.

Stills, a 28-year-old Houston Texans wide receiver, said he had got into "'good trouble' with my brothers and sisters" while "peacefully protesting". They face misdemeanour charges of disorderly conduct and criminal trespass.

Black Lives Matters protesters have been demanding justice for Ms Taylor, as well as George Floyd and other African Americans who have died at the hands of the police.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has faced a number of protests over the lack of charges brought against the officers involved in the killing of Ms Taylor.

What happened to Breonna Taylor?

Police had suspected Ms Taylor's flat was being used to receive drugs by a gang based at a different address 10 miles (16km) away. One of the suspects was an ex-boyfriend of Ms Taylor.

Shortly after midnight on 13 March, police officers Brett Hankison, Jon Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove entered Ms Taylor's apartment by executing a no-knock search warrant - a court document that authorises police to enter a home without permission.

Ms Taylor and her partner, Kenneth Walker, were reportedly asleep as the commotion began.

Police said they knocked before using a battering ram to enter the home, though this account has been disputed by Ms Taylor's family and a neighbour.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Breonna Taylor, 26, was a decorated emergency medical technician

The officers exchanged fire with Mr Walker, a licensed gun owner who called 911 in the belief that the drug raid was a burglary. The officers - who fired more than 25 bullets - said they returned fire after one officer was shot and wounded.

During the exchange, Ms Taylor, an emergency medical technician, was shot eight times. She died on her hallway floor.

Mr Walker surrendered and was arrested on charges of attempted murder of a police officer.

Ms Taylor was one of three people named on the warrant, according to Louisville NBC affiliate Wave 3. But she was not the main subject of the investigation, the city's Courier-Journal newspaper reports.

No drugs were found in the property.

Police officer Brett Hankison was accused of "blindly" firing 10 rounds into Ms Taylor's apartment, displaying "an extreme indifference to the value of human life".

Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Brett Hankison showed 'extreme indifference to the value of human life'

Firing him, Louisville Police interim chief Robert Schroeder wrote, in a letter published by the Courier-Journal, that his conduct was "a shock to the conscience" that "demands your termination".

"The result of your action seriously impedes the department's goal of providing the citizens of our city with the most professional law enforcement agency possible. I cannot tolerate this type of conduct by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department."

Attorneys for Ms Taylor's family said they want to see the other officers fired as well.

A lawsuit filed by Ms Taylor's family accuses the officers of battery, wrongful death, excessive force and gross negligence.

"We also look forward to these officers being prosecuted for their roles in her untimely death."

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