The former Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officer who was charged in the Breonna Taylor shooting wants to ban media from part of the jury selection of his trial.
According to WLKY, Brett Hankison’s attorney filed a motion asking Judge Ann Bailey Smith to bar news outlets from the courtroom during individual juror questioning, which is known as voir dire. The lawyers believe the jurors may worry that their identity could be exposed to the public.
On Monday (Jan. 24), Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, whose office is arraigning the case, resisted the ban request. “The Commonwealth recognizes the competing interests between the right to an impartial jury and the right to public and media access,” Cameron wrote. “Here, the Commonwealth believes the balance favors access, even if the court decides to place some limitations on that access.”
As REVOLT previously reported, Hankison, along with LMPD Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove, fired over 30 shots into Taylor’s apartment while serving a no-knock warrant, killing the young woman. Hankison is charged with three counts of wanton engagement for blindly shooting into the homes of Taylor’s neighbors the night she was killed. Cameron said the former detective fired 10 shots into Taylor’s apartment, but none of them struck her.
The LMPD officers who were involved in the raid were not charged for the 26-year-old’s death.
Last year, Hankison’s attorney filed to have his client’s trial moved to a new location due to the “media circus” surrounding Taylor’s death. Attorney Stew Mathews said that a jury pool in Louisville would be “irreparably prejudiced and biased” and a fair trial would be nearly impossible. However, Judge Smith ruled that the trial would remain in Louisville.
Hankison has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which are all felonies. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. His trial is set to begin on Feb. 1.