LOUISVILLE, KY — Evidence is leaking out on social media and digital news sites just days after a grand jury issued no charges against the Louisville officers who fatally shot Breonna Taylor, raising questions about the investigation into her death.
The Courier Journal is reporting video footage from body cameras worn by Louisville Metro Police officers at Taylor's apartment March 13 show potential violations of policies designed to keep integrity of the investigation.
The digital site VICE News Saturday posted this clip showing former Detective Brett Hankison entering Taylor's apartment while investigators are inside working the scene after her death.
Hankison was one of three officers who fired their guns at Taylor's apartment that night. He was the only office charged in the grand jury decision and was charged with wanton endangerment when some of his bullets went into an occupied apartment next to Taylor's.
Hankison, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove fired more than 30 rounds after Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired one shot when the officers broke in the door while trying to serve a "no-knock" search warrant. Walker said he didn't realize it was police.
In the body camera footage posted by VICE, Hankison can be seen stepping in Taylor's apartment, looking at a shell casing on the ground, saying "That's theirs?"
"That's ours, it looks like," an unidentified officer responds, before telling Hankison to "back out until they get PIU (the Public Integrity Unit) in here."
You can see Hankison does not exit right away, instead he asks, "Are there any guns visible?" and shines a flashlight into the apartment. Then he asks if there's a "long gun."
The Courier Journal is reporting that the former detective's presence at the crime scene would violate LMPD policies intended to keep away officers involved in a shooting from the active investigation.
The video and other evidence from the Taylor investigation has been tightly guarded, with the public and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear urging Attorney General Daniel Cameron to make more information available to the public.
Over the weekend, the Courier Journal is reporting other videos have surfaced on social media, including an unidentified officer walking to the door of Taylor's apartment and asking, "Is anybody in here dead?"
The Courier Journal is also reporting Facebook account "Julia Roberts" posted Snapchat videos with clips of apparent body camera footage posted by Kendrick Wilson.
Wilson told reporters Sunday, according to the Courier Journal, he obtained the footage from Sam Aguiar, an attorney for Breonna Taylor's family, who helped negotiate the family's $12 million settlement with the city. The Courier Journal says he called Aguiar to release more of the records he's obtained under seal, despite the settlement's requirement that attorneys destroy that evidence.
Additionally, the Courier Journal reports Wilson has a pending harassment lawsuit filed in federal court against Hankison. Aguiar is his lawyer in that case, taking over as Wilson's counsel in August for no fee, the attorney said.
The Courier Journal also reports in one video clip Wilson posted, an officer he claims is not Hankison says his rounds went through Taylor's window. In another, an officer can be heard stating that there was a "Black female" shot inside, along with the shooter — indicating that police might have known that Taylor had been seriously wounded before Walker exited the apartment and was arrested.
The Courier Journal reports Wilson told viewers there's "plenty more where this came from" but refused to show more evidence in an interview on Sunday. Instead, he accused LMPD officers of collusion.
"I'm not gonna spend time trying to prove anything," Wilson said when asked for proof of his wide-ranging claims. "I'm gonna spend time exposing corruption."
The Courier Journal says by the end of his appearance, Wilson accused reporters of corruption in a profanity-laden rant and walked away.
The Courier Journal says Aguiar confirmed he hired Wilson as an investigator in June to work on the Taylor case. Wilson was retained on a contract basis, and Aguiar has paid him around $18,500 for his work.
Additionally, the Courier Journal also reports that Aguiar said Wilson appears to have posted the only footage he had access to. When asked by a reporter during the interview Sunday, Wilson said he did know what a PIU, or Public Integrity Unit, file is — the investigative findings turned over to Cameron for possible charges.
Footage shows violation of LMPD policy in shooting aftermath
VICE's report states in body camera footage reviewed by the news outlet, none of the officers present for the raid on March 13 is separated or paired with an escort, as required by LMPD policy.
That 'escort officer' is tasked with remaining with the officer through the initial investigation, explaining the investigative process, transporting him or her to the PIU office and "verifying that the officer is isolated from all non-essential individuals for the remainder of the initial investigation," according to LMPD's standard operating procedures.
VICE also reports Detective Michael Campbell, who was at the raid, helps interview neighbors, and Cosgrove, VICE reports, remains on-scene carrying a rifle.
The conduct of those officers is noted in an investigative report VICE obtained. And a SWAT commander, Lt. Dale Massey, later tells investigators that Hankison was "way too up in the mix" and that he requested he be separated, according to VICE.