On Tuesday, ahead of the grand jury announcement of the Breonna Taylor case, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer ordered a countywide curfew from 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. for 72 hours, beginning Wednesday night.
Following months of protests, outrage and waiting, a Kentucky grand jury decided on Wednesday morning, to indict one of the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor back in March. The announcement comes six months after Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was killed in her home during a botched narcotics raid.
Ex-officer Brett Hankison has been charged with three counts of wanton endangerment over shooting into neighboring apartments. Bond was set at $15,000. Hankison was previously fired back in June due to his recklessness during the raid.
Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, the other two LMPD officers involved in the deadly raid, were not charged by the grand jury. None of the three face charges directly tied to the death of Breonna Taylor.
(From left to right: Brett Hankison, Johnathan Mattingly, and Myles Cosgrove are the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers who fired their weapons into Taylor’s apartment.) (Image Courtesy of LMPD)
Directly after the grand jury submitted its indictment, Taylor family attorney Ben Crump stated his dismay about the decision.
“Jefferson Grand Jury indicts former ofc. Brett Hankison with 3 counts of Wanton Endangerment in 1st Degree for bullets that went into other apartments but nothing for the murder of Breonna Taylor. This is outrageous and offensive,” Crump said in a tweet.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron stated at a Wednesday afternoon press briefing, that Mattingly and Cosgrove “were justified in their use of force” after Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, fired upon them first after suspecting a break-in. Walker has maintained that he did not hear the officers announce themselves before entering. He has stated that he misinterpreted them for intruders and fired a warning shot, which hit Mattingly in the leg.
According to Cameron, “evidence shows that officers both knocked and announced their presence at the apartment.” He cited the officers’ statements and one additional witness. There is no video or body camera footage of the officers performing the search warrant, Cameron stated.
“While there are six possible homicide charges under Kentucky law, these charges are not applicable to the fact before us, because our investigation showed, and the grand jury agreed, that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their return of deadly fire,” Cameron said in the press conference.
Cameron made it clear he expects no further criminal charges to be filed in connection with the events at Taylor’s apartment, which ended horrifically.
Following the indictments announcement, hundreds of protesters flooded the streets of Louisville demanding true justice for Breonna Taylor. Members of the Kentucky National Guard and state police were activated as protests ensued and some clashes erupted with officers in riot gear.
Before the 9 p.m. curfew went into effect, there were reports of gunfire near one of the marches. Two Louisville officers were shot and had non-life-threatening wounds and a suspect was in custody, Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder told reporters.
The NAACP said in a statement that the justice system “failed” Taylor and the charges against one officer “do not go far enough.”
(Breonna Taylor was an EMT and worked full-time for the University of Louisville Health, and was on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Her funeral was held on March 21, 2020.) (Image courtesy of the Family of Breonna Taylor.)