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Louisville corrections officer fired after appearing in video mocking police and Breonna Taylor’s death

“I understand that the video was insensitive, and I am deeply remorseful for even making it,” fired Louisville corrections officer Turhan Knight said.
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A Kentucky corrections officer has been fired after he appeared in a mock recruitment video for Louisville police, referring to the death of Breonna Taylor and asking, "Do you want to kill people and be able to get off for it?"

Turhan Knight, a Louisville Metro Department of Corrections officer since 2018, was terminated Thursday after the video surfaced, said Maj. Darrell Goodlett of the Corrections Department.

In the video, Knight appeared to pose as a Louisville Metro Police officer and walked among patrol vehicles, saying, “Trying to repair broken relationships, and brother, we need you.”

“We need backup, answer the call, be a part of a great, great police department. Never mind what happened to Breonna Taylor, we killed that b----,” he said.

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black medical worker, was fatally shot in a botched police raid at her Louisville apartment in March 2020. Her death sparked national protests decrying police brutality, and four officers were federally charged with violating her civil rights this month. 

“You want to drive vehicles like this? And fly in planes? Do you want to be able to have unlimited off-duty? Do you want to be able to support your family? Do you want to kill people and be able to get off for it? Join Louisville Metro Police Department,” Knight continued in the video.

The Corrections Department learned about the clip early last week and confirmed the video to NBC News.

Director Jerry Collins “was disgusted by the content of the video and moved as quickly as possible to terminate Knight. Knight’s behavior is unacceptable and does not reflect the professionalism and spirit of service that we strive for at LMDC," Goodlett said.

Mayor Greg Fischer called the video "hideous" and said Knight "was fired immediately."

"There is zero excuse for his insensitivity. He has brought great shame upon Metro Corrections and all of Louisville Metro Government," Fischer said in a statement to NBC affiliate WAVE of Louisville.

"I deeply apologize to the family of Breonna Taylor and all of the hard working and ethical employees of Louisville Metro Government. One person will not tarnish the good work we attempt to do on behalf of our residents.”

Knight apologized for the clip, which he told the station was made Aug. 18. He said he sent his letter of resignation to the department two weeks ago after he accepted another job.

“I understand that the video was insensitive, and I am deeply remorseful for even making it,” Knight said.

Knight couldn't be reached for comment by e-mail or phone by NBC News. Several listed phone numbers for him were disconnected.

Daniel Johnson, the president of the union that represents Louisville corrections officers, said the union won't appeal Knight's termination, saying, "There is no place in public service for anyone that would do something so insensitive."

"We believe the termination was absolutely justified and was the right decision. Knight’s views and opinions of LMPD does not reflect those of FOP Lodge 77. There will be no appeal from the FOP on his termination, and we are glad to see the department take quick action to end his employment," he said.

Johnson confirmed that Knight had submitted a resignation letter.