State Watch

Kentucky governor authorizes National Guard as protesters gather over Breonna Taylor grand jury decision

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said Wednesday that he has authorized the deployment of some National Guard forces following the grand jury decision in the killing of Breonna Taylor.

Beshear said Wednesday that the deployment would be “limited” and “based on very specific operations,” with a mandate of protecting “critical infrastructure” such as hospitals, according to The Associated Press.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (D), meanwhile, said the case was “far from over,” citing the ongoing FBI investigation. Fischer also said the indictment of former officer Brett Hankison on wanton endangerment charges vindicated the city’s decision to fire him. Fischer added that the Louisville Metro Police Department is also continuing its Professional Standards Unit investigation into the incident.

“Let’s turn to each other, not on each other,” Fischer added, urging against unrest in the city.

Taylor was killed in a March police raid at her Louisville apartment. Police entered the apartment on a no-knock warrant, at which point her boyfriend Kenneth Walker fired, later saying he thought they were home intruders. Police returned fire and hit Taylor five times. The officers and Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) have both claimed the police knocked and identified themselves, while Walker and other witnesses have denied they identified themselves.

Cameron announced Wednesday afternoon that Hankison would be the only one of the three officers charged, on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into other apartments while executing the warrant.

Beshear addressed Cameron’s announcement earlier Wednesday, saying at a press briefing “I will never feel the weight of 400 years of slavery, segregation and Jim Crow… but I can listen, I can try to hear, and I can be clear: Systematic racism exists in this world, in this country and in our commonwealth.” The governor also called on Cameron’s office to make public information that he said contributed to the decision not to file charges directly related to Taylor’s death.


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