Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump on Wednesday condemned a grand jury decision to indict a single Louisville, Ky., officer in the case of Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by police inside her apartment.
“Jefferson County 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, who represents Taylor’s family, tweeted Wednesday.
Jefferson County 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! pic.twitter.com/EarmBAhhuf— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) September 23, 2020
Hankison and officers Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove entered Taylor’s apartment on March 13 on a “no-knock” warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, has denied the officers identified themselves and said he opened fire believing them to be home intruders. Police shot back, hitting Taylor five times.The officers and one witness have said they both knocked and identified themselves, which Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) backed up on Wednesday. Taylor's family has also disputed that the police knocked or identified themselves.
Police secured the warrant on the grounds that they believed Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover was keeping drugs and money in her apartment, but they found neither.
Hankison was fired from the department in June for “display[ing] an extreme indifference to the value of human life.” The charges applied to shots he fired that entered other apartments. The announcement comes the week after the city agreed to pay Taylor’s family a settlement of $12 million.
Taylor’s killing was one of several involving Black people that galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement this year, including those of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. Taylor’s case was, until Wednesday, the only one of the three where no charges had been filed.
The city has imposed a 9 p.m. curfew for the next three nights.