Former Louisville Officer Involved in Breonna Taylor Shooting Faces Lawsuit for Sexual Assault

Illustration for article titled Former Louisville Officer Involved in Breonna Taylor Shooting Faces Lawsuit for Sexual Assault
Photo: Louisville Metro Police Department

In June, The Root reported that former Louisville Metro Police Detective Brett Hankison—one of three officers who fatally shot Breonna Taylor and the only officer facing charges related to the shooting (essentially for the bullets that missed, but whatever)—was accused of sexual assault by two women who posted about their experiences on social media.

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On Tuesday, one of Hankison’s accusers filed a lawsuit against the ex-officer claiming he assaulted her in 2018 and that members of the police department knew about his conduct and did nothing about it.

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CNN reports that Margo Borders, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, named Hankison in her suit as a “sexual predator” who “used his police uniform and secondary nightclub employment as mechanisms to prey on innocent women who are two decades younger than him.”

Borders—who said she was 22 when she met Hankison, according to NBC News—wrote in a June 4 Facebook post that she had gone to a bar with friends the night of her alleged assault.

“I went to call an uber home and a police officer who I had interacted with on many occasions at bars in St. Matthews offered me a ride home,” Borders wrote. “He drove me home in uniform, in his marked car, invited himself into my apartment and sexually assaulted me while I was unconscious.”

From CNN:

According to the lawsuit, plaintiff Margo Borders visited the Tin Roof bar in Kentucky to meet some friends in 2018 where Hankison was working as security. Borders and Hankison had met in 2017 and had a mutual friend; Hankison “frequently messaged” Borders on Snapchat and reached out to her when he was “having problems with his girlfriend,” according to the lawsuit.

Borders was intoxicated that night, and when time came to leave the bar and as she was about to call an Uber, Hankison insisted that he drive her home and invited himself into her apartment, according to the lawsuit. Borders went to her room and fell asleep, and when she was unconscious, Hankison “willfully, intentionally, painfully and violently sexually assaulted” her, according to the lawsuit.

When Borders regained consciousness, she yelled for Hankison to get off her; he then grabbed his uniform and left her room, according to the lawsuit. Later that day, Hankison messaged Borders “to try and suggest that the two had engaged in consensual relations,” according to the lawsuit.

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According to the Washington Post, the lawsuit also claims that Borders was left in physical and emotional pain and that her sheets and mattress were soaked in blood after the attack.

As we previously reported, a second woman, Emily Terry, posted her story of being assaulted by Hankison on Instagram the same day Borders posted about her assault on Facebook.

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“In early fall, I began walking home from a bar intoxicated,” Terry wrote. “A police officer pulled up next to me and offered me a ride home. I thought to myself, ‘Wow. That is so nice of him.’ And willingly got in. He began making sexual advances towards me; rubbing my thigh, kissing my forehead, and calling me ‘baby’. Mortified, I did not move.” She said her friend reported what happened to her the next day but “nothing came from it.”

The accusations made by the two women are not the only ones Hankison has faced.

From the Post:

Hankison has a history of allegations of misconduct while with the LMPD, the suit notes, including 50 internal incident reports on his record — none of which led to disciplinary action.

Hankison was investigated at least twice by LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit, the complaint says, both regarding sexual misconduct. One accuser claimed he “demanded sexual favors in exchange for not placing criminal charges,” the lawsuit says. Another complaint alleged he made advances toward a woman who was the subject of an active investigation. He was exonerated in both cases.

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According to NBC, Hankison isn’t the only one named in Borders’ suit. The lawsuit also calls out former Police Chief Steve Conrad and five other officers who she claims knew about Hankison’s behavior and did nothing to stop it.

Sam Aguiar—one of the attorneys who represented Taylor’s family in the wrongful death lawsuit that ended in a $12 million settlement with the city of Louisville—is also representing Borders.

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In a statement Tuesday, Aguiar called Hankison a “predator of the worst kind” and accused the LMPD of being complicit in allowing sexual assault by police officers to happen.

“This police department’s longstanding tolerance for sexual assault by their officers is disgusting,” Aguiar said, NBC reports. “We intend to hold all who failed to ever report or investigate Brett Hankison responsible. Too many women in this community have suffered for too long.”

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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DISCUSSION

sorvex
Sorely Vexed

It's almost as if being allowed to skate on more than 50 formal complaints (and God knows how many that never made it to the formal stage) emboldened this prick and made him think he could get away with anything.