Grand jury indicts 1 police officer in Breonna Taylor death

National

FILE – This undated photo provided by Taylor family attorney Sam Aguiar shows Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky. (Courtesy of Taylor Family attorney Sam Aguiar via AP, File)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky grand jury on Wednesday indicted a single police officer for shooting into neighboring apartments but did not move forward with charges against any officers for their role in Breonna Taylor’s death.

A grand jury announced that Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in connection to the police raid on the night of March 13.

Neither the grand jury nor the presiding judge elaborated on the charges.

Taylor was shot multiple times by officers who burst into her home on March 13 during a narcotics investigation. No drugs were found in her home. Protesters across the country have demanded justice for Taylor and other Black people killed by police in recent months.

Meanwhile, officials in Louisville, Kentucky’s largest city, were preparing for more protests and possible unrest as the public nervously awaited a decision on charges in the shooting. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced a 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. curfew on Wednesday and urged people to protest peacefully.

Officer Brett Hankison was fired from the city’s police department June 23. A termination letter sent to him by interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said the white officer had violated procedures by showing “extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he “wantonly and blindly” shot 10 rounds of gunfire into Taylor’s apartment in March.

Hankison, Sgt. Johnathan Mattingly, Officer Myles Cosgrove and the detective who sought the warrant, Joshua Jaynes, were placed on administrative reassignment after the shooting.

Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, opened fire when police burst in, hitting Mattingly. Walker was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, but prosecutors later dropped the charge.
Walker told police he heard knocking but didn’t know who was coming into the home and fired in self-defense.

On Sept. 15, the city settled a lawsuit against the three officers brought by Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, agreeing to pay her $12 million and enact police reforms.

Protesters in Louisville and across the country have demanded justice for Taylor and other Black people killed by police in recent months. The release in late May of a 911 call by Taylor’s boyfriend marked the beginning of days of protests in Louisville, fueled by her shooting and the violent death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

Several prominent African American celebrities including Oprah and Beyoncé have joined those urging that the officers be charged.

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