Story at a glance
- The grand jury in Jefferson County, Ky., charged former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing his gun into other apartments during the police raid in which Taylor, 26, was killed.
- The charges against Hankison are not directly related to Taylor’s death and the two other officers who fired their weapons were found to be justified in their use of force.
- Protesters clashed with police hours after the ruling was announced.
Protesters have taken to the streets of Louisville, Ky,, after a grand jury on Wednesday only brought criminal charges against one of the three police officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor in March.
The grand jury in Jefferson County, Ky., charged former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing his gun into other apartments during the police raid in which Taylor, 26, was killed. The charges against Hankison are not directly related to Taylor’s death and the two other officers who fired their weapons were not charged.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron in a press conference following the much-anticipated decision Wednesday said the other two officers were “justified in their use of force” because Taylor’s boyfriend fired on officers first when they made entry into the apartment.
“I know that not everyone will be satisfied,” Cameron said. “My job is to present the facts to the grand jury, and the grand jury then applies the facts...If we simply act on emotion or outrage, there is no justice. Mob justice is not justice. Justice sought by violence is not justice. It just becomes revenge.”
On March 13, the Louisville officers entered Taylor’s home on a no-knock warrant and were met with gunfire from Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who said he believed he was firing on intruders and was unaware it was law enforcement. He has maintained that police did not identify themselves before entering the apartment.
Cameron said despite officers obtaining a no-knock warrant, his investigation uncovered one witness who heard the officers knock and identify themselves, disputing earlier reports a no-knock warrant was served.
One officer, Sgt. John Mattingly, was hit in the leg and police returned fire, killing Taylor in a barrage of shots.
Police were granted the warrant as part of a narcotics investigation into Taylor’s ex-boyfriend. The warrant did not specifically connect Taylor to any drug activity and no drugs were found in the apartment.
Taylor’s death sparked outrage and widespread protests against police brutality and racial inequality in the U.S.
Following the announcement Wednesday, protesters who gathered in downtown Louisville reacted to the decision with outrage and began marching through the streets chanting “no justice, no peace,” and “keep going.”
Protesters clashed with police in riot gear on several instances, and law enforcement used batons and pepper balls to push protesters back. Several protesters were arrested following confrontations with police, according to the Courier Journal.
I don’t know what I just witnessed pic.twitter.com/m7PGmpSUH9— Bailey Loosemore (@bloosemore) September 23, 2020
Police in riot gear are blocking off Bardstown road. There have been several arrests. pic.twitter.com/x5hxKGGlud— Hayes Gardner (@HayesGardner) September 23, 2020
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (D) issued a state of emergency order Tuesday ahead of the decision and concrete roadblocks, barricades and metal fences were placed in several areas of the city in preparation for large demonstrations, the Courier Journal reports.
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