A neighbor, Cody Etherton, who lived next to the late Breonna Taylor believes that Louisville, Kentucky police officers were “reckless” and “unorganized” the night of the deadly police raid.

As the trial for former police Officer Brett Hankison begins, the only person to face charges connected to the March 13, 2020, raid was indicted by a grand jury on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. Accused of firing shots that went into a neighboring apartment after Taylor’s boyfriend fired a shot.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Both attorneys involved in the case agree that “Breonna Taylor should not have died that night,” but the fact matters is that she did, and yet they disagree on whether Hankison’s actions were legal given the situation.

Etherton was nearly hit as Hankison fired blindly from outside Taylor’s apartment while Chelsey Napper woke up in their bedroom and “froze” with their 5-year-old child asleep feet away. Hankison believed someone was firing an “AR-15” at police, which was unfounded. 

“The scene was total chaos,” Mathews said. “You’re going to find that he was justified, his actions were reasonable given the chaotic situation he was in. These officers had no idea what they were getting into.”

Mathews said Hankison will take the stand to testify on his own behalf.

Etherton, the first witness to the scene, said he heard a loud noise and got up to “protect my family.” He dropped to the floor when a bullet came through his wall and then crawled back to their bedroom. 

“I didn’t know if we [were] getting robbed,” he said. “I didn’t know what was going on.” 

“It was just reckless to me,” Etherton testified. “Any of them bullets could have gone anywhere.”

Hankison is charged with three counts wanton endangerment and has been fired. Hankison, whose shots did not hit Taylor, is the only officer charged in the case. None have been charged in connection to Taylor’s death.

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