Somebody Explain These Breonna Taylor Officer Charges

Somebody Explain These Breonna Taylor Officer Charges

09.23.20
09.23.20

Nearly 200 days since Breonna Taylor was killed, a Jefferson County Grand Jury indicted one Louisville Metro police officer in her death. Former police officer Brett Hankison, who was fired in June, was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment.

The felony indictment details that Hankison engaged in behavior knowing the consequences could lead to injury or death by shooting into three apartments and not because he shot Taylor. If convicted, he could get up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The two other officers involved — Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove — were not indicted. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Cosgrove and Mattingly were justified in the shooting.

“According to Kentucky law, the use of force by (Officers Jonathan Mattingly and (Myles) Cosgrove was justified to protect themselves. This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Miss Breonna Taylor’s death,” said Cameron, adding the FBI is still investigating potential violations of federal law in the case.

Prior to the announcement, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced a preemptive state of emergency and implemented a curfew for anticipated protests. On Tuesday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker did the same.

The 26-year-old emergency medical employee was fatally shot in her home March 13, 2020, after several officers entered her home carrying out a no-knock search warrant. Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were sleeping when officers carried out the botched narcotics investigation.

Walker, a licensed gun owner, thought the apartment was being burglarized and fired a shot that hit a police officer. Police returned gunfire and hit Taylor eight times.

According to dispatch logs, after being shot Taylor was untreated for 20 minutes. No drugs were found and police were looking for a different person who lived 10 miles away.

The use of no-knock warrants has since been banned by Louisville’s Metro Council.

Taylor’s death sparked outrage, marches and a global demand for justice.

Her family sued the city accusing the police department of wrongful death and settled Sept. 15 for $12 million.

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