Grand Jury Indicts One Police Officer Over Fatal Shooting Of Breonna Taylor
A grand jury has indicted one police officer over the raid that resulted in the death of Breonna Taylor.
The decision comes after months of protesting from demonstrators to see those responsible for Taylor’s death be charged.
Taylor was only 26 years old at the time of her death. She was shot at least five times when officers who raided her home on a drugs bust in Louisville on March 13 this year opened fire. No drugs were found in the home.
Former Louisville detective Brett Hankison has been indicted on three counts of of first-degree wanton endangerment, Fox 13 reports. Hankison was one of the officers who opened fire inside Taylor’s apartment while carrying out a no-knock search warrant.
The two other officers involved, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove, were not indicted.
In Kentucky, the felony of wanton endangerment can carry a five-year sentence for each count, Hankison was charged with three counts, BBC News reports. The Taylor family’s attorney, Ben Crump, said the fact no charges had been brought forward directly relating to the killing was ‘outrageous and offensive’.
Hankison was fired from the city’s police department on June 23. In his termination letter, interim Louisville police Chief Robert Schroeder said Hankison had shown ‘extreme indifference to the value of human life’ when he ‘wantonly and blindly’ opened fire inside Taylor’s apartment.
At a press conference today, September 23, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said this is a ‘gut-wrenching emotional case’. According to Cameron, a ballistics reports said six bullets had struck Taylor, with one being fatal. He added that officers Mattingly and Cosgrove had been ‘justified to protect themselves and the justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges’.
Officials in Louisville have been preparing for more protests in the city as the public awaited the jury’s decision. There have been calls for all three officers involved to be indicted.
According to reports, the three police officers shot more than 20 rounds. Taylor’s boyfriend at the time, Kenneth Walker, wasn’t wounded, BBC News reports. The officer’s report apparently contained multiple errors, including stating Taylor’s injuries as ‘none’, and suggesting no force had been used to gain entry to the apartment, when a battering ram had actually been used.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Taylor’s family will receive a $12 million settlement following a wrongful death lawsuit.
According to attorney Benjamin Crump, the payout from the city is believed to be one of the largest of its kind, with police misconduct complaints rarely resulting in such large settlements for victims.
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