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Brett Hankison's lawyer calls termination 'cowardly political act' in appeal

Attorney David Leightty says Hankison did not "blindly" fire shots into Breonna Taylor's apartment.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In an appeal to the Louisville Police Merit Board, Brett Hankison's lawyer calls his termination "a cowardly political act" that "is not justified."

"It would have taken courage and integrity to calmly state; 'We must wait until the investigations have been completed and the evidence is in hand before making any determinations regarding discipline," attorney David Leightty said.

Hankison, one of the three officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor, was fired by Interim Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder after Schroeder said he violated procedures the night of Taylor's death.

According to his termination letter, Hankison "blindly fired" 10 rounds into Breonna Taylor's apartment while executing a search warrant the night of her death.

"I find your conduct a shock to the conscience," Schroeder said in the letter. "I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion. You have never been trained by the Louisville Metro Police Department to use deadly force in this fashion."

The appeal says Hankison did not "blindly" fire, but "acted in quick response to the gunfire directed at himself and other officers."

Leightty said a full account of what happened the night of Taylor death "has not yet been assembled," saying officials should have waited for the results of investigations from the attorney general, FBI and Kentucky State Police.

"Those agencies should have been allowed to complete their jobs before any decisions regarding punishment were made," the appeal says.

The appeal says the death of George Floyd and other recent events "pressured the Mayor to take immediate action" before "the facts have been fully assembled."

"The history of racial oppression is indeed angering, and what happened to Mr. Floyd is indeed horrifying," the appeal says. "But to assume that the events at Ms. Taylor's apartment must be like those in the death of Mr. Floyd, or any other particular incident, is not justified."

Leightty said there is not sufficient ground for termination, asking the board "to hold this matter is abeyance pending resolution of criminal proceedings," meaning any hearings would be after a criminal case has been completed.

Read the full appeal below:

RELATED: Brett Hankison formally terminated from LMPD for violating procedures the night Breonna Taylor was killed

RELATED: 'He 'blindly' fired 10 rounds into Breonna Taylor's apartment,' Brett Hankison's termination letter says

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