Breonna Taylor: 1 officer indicted for firing into neighboring apartments

A Kentucky grand jury on Wednesday indicted a single former police officer for shooting into neighboring apartments but did not hand up charges against any officers for their alleged roles in the death of Breonna Taylor.

Former Louisville Detective Brett Hankison, fired for his role in the incident, is charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree but was not charged directly in Taylor’s death.

“My office is prepared to prove these charges at trial,” Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said at an afternoon news conference, adding that if convicted Hankison could serve up to five years for each count.

“However, it’s important to note he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

 

Two other officers involved in the shooting — Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove — were not indicted.

 

“I’m not surprised,” former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said on CNN following the announcement. “I always thought this was going to be a difficult case once it went beyond the one officer that was firing blindly.”

 

Ben Crump, the attorney for Taylor’s family, called the decision not to charge Hankison for murder “outrageous and offensive.”

 

After the decision, protesters gathered in downtown Louisville chanting “No justice, no peace!” and began marching through the streets. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced a 72-hour curfew effective from 9 p.m. Wednesday. Louisville Metropolitan Police Department, interim Chief Robert Schroeder, said Kentucky National Guard members would be in the city.

Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by officers who entered her home using a warrant connected to a suspect, a former boyfriend, who did not live there.

Cameron said he couldn’t discuss the specifics of the case as it makes its way through the legal system. But he did say the other two officers on the scene were “justified in their use of force” because Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, fired first. Cameron also said evidence showed the officers knocked before entering and announced they were police officers before the shooting.

“The warrant was not served as a no-knock warrant,” Cameron said.

Addressing the disappointment at the lack of criminal charges, Cameron said the facts and evidence, in this case, were “different” from other recent incidents involving fatal police shootings.

 

“If we simply act on emotion or outrage, there is no justice,” Cameron said. “Mob justice is not justice. Justice sought by violence is not justice. It just becomes revenge.”

 

Taylor’s death led to widespread protests across the country, including in Philadelphia, where officials said police would increase their presence Wednesday night in Center City and commercial districts throughout the city. Drivers should expect some delays around City Hall.

This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.

About Abu Sillah

Abu is a Journalist, Marketing Consultant, & PR Specialist from Prince George's County, MD. He is the CEO of The DMV Daily and Marketing Manager of The Wig Café, LLC. In May 2018, Abu obtained his B.A. in Sociology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and is now attending Bowie State University for his M.A. in Organizational Communications.

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