Hankison is charged with three counts of gratuitous endangerment.
The criminal trial of former Louisville cop Brett Hankison, who faces charges for his role in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor by police, has been postponed until next year.
Hankison was charged with three counts of gratuitous endangerment for firing multiple shots that entered a neighbor’s apartment and put three people in danger on March 13, 2020.
He and Louisville Metro Police Department officers Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly fired 32 shots at Taylor’s apartment while serving an arrest warrant and Taylor was killed.
In a hearing Friday, Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Ann Bailey Smith postponed his trial to February 1, 2022, pushing it back five months from its original August 31, 2021 date.
The coronavirus pandemic has delayed jury trials statewide and social distancing requirements have created logistical challenges for holding a trial, Smith said on Friday according to the Louisville Mail Journal.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Hankison’s charges in September. Hankison fired 10 shots at Taylor’s apartment, but Cameron said none of his shots hit Taylor.
Hankison pleaded not guilty to the charges in September. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison, Cameron said.
Although Hankison’s attorney filed a motion to change the location of the trial due to an “avalanche of publicity” in the Taylor case, in March a judge ruled to keep the trial in Jefferson County.
Hankison’s next hearing is scheduled for July 16, 2021.
The fatal shooting sparked nationwide protests denouncing police brutality and racism. To date, no one has been charged directly over the death of Taylor, a 26-year-old certified emergency medical technician, which has rekindled outcry among activists and advocates.
“This is scandalous and offensive to the memory of Breonna Taylor. It is another example of non-accountability for the genocide of people of color by white police officers,” said Taylor family attorneys Benjamin Crump, Sam Aguiar and Lonita Baker, in a joint statement in September. following the announcement of Hankison’s charges.
Hankison and Myles Cosgrove were fired for the incident, but Sgt. Jon Mattingly stays on the force.
A federal investigation into Taylor’s death is still ongoing.