A grand jury on Wednesday recommended there should be multiple counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree charged against one of the three Louisville police officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor more than six months ago. The announcement to indict Brett Hankison for anything less than manslaughter charges was largely seen as a disappointment to people calling for justice to be served in Taylor’s police killing in March.
The announcement was read live on TV by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Annie O’Connell, who agreed with the recommended $15,000 cash bail and issued a warrant for Hankison’s arrest.
A closer look at the grand jury findings showed that Hankison was being indicted for endangering the lives of people with the initials f “C.D.,” “T.M.,” and “Z.F.” — believed to be Taylor’s neighbors. Consequently, that means that the grand jury did not find enough evidence to charge any of the three officers as it directly related to Taylor’s killing.
The decision came after LMPD declared a state of emergency within the police department in what critics said was tantamount to preparing as if the cops who killed Taylor would not be criminally charged.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron was expected to make a public statement later Wednesday to explain how this decision was reached and whether he and his office have plans to add any charges.
There was a chorus of disapproval n social media in reaction to the indictment, with many claiming in one variation or another that the cops “got away with murder.”
The city of Louisville settled a civil lawsuit from Taylor’s family for a whopping $12 million just last week in one of the country’s highest payouts ever for police violence.
LMPD’s Professional Standards Unit launched a probe of more of its cops in addition to the separate investigation of detective Myles Cosgrove, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and fired officer Brett Hankison, who all fired their guns that fateful night of March 13. The Professional Standards Unit investigates whether officers broke department policies. It was unclear what exactly they were being investigated for as it relates to Taylor’s case. Cosgrove and Mattingly are among the six cops being investigated by the Professional Standards Unit.
Storefronts were boarded up and other buildings in downtown Louisville, such as the federal courthouse, were closed in anticipation of the decision.
On March 13, Taylor was shot eight times by members of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) after they botched the execution of a “no-knock” warrant that was later found out to have been served at the wrong address. The failed raid succeeded in killing Taylor and wounding her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who used his legally owned gun to shoot at the front door suspecting an intruder. Walker is now suing the LMPD, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Louisville/Jefferson County metro government for $10.5 million in part because he said the cops tried “to silence me and cover up Breonna’s murder” by initially charging him with a crime.
Since then, police have been accused of trying to set up Taylor’s boyfriend by disingenuously charging him with attempted murder on a police officer. The charges were later dropped. But then prosecutors tried to “posthumously frame Breonna Taylor to clear police,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump claimed after reports that local prosecutors offered Taylor’s incarcerated ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover a plea deal if he would claim she was a co-defendant in a drug case. The reported plea deal suggests that law enforcement was desperately looking for a way to incriminate Taylor and assassinate her character in death, which could prevent the case from progressing and keep the officers involved in the shooting from being arrested and charged with any crimes at all nearly six months after she was killed in her own home.
Glover, however, refused to lie to police about Taylor, who was employed as an EMT and working on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus.
A grand jury was finally empaneled earlier this month to hear the findings from Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and his office’s investigation into the shooting.
Cameron — a Black Republican and avid supporter of Donald Trump who has been described as Mitch McConnell‘s “protégé” — and his office have been accused of both politicizing the case and dragging their feet when it came to bringing charges.
He was criticized for speaking at the Republican National Convention last month instead of working on Taylor’s investigation and prosecutors working for him were recently accused of trying to slander Taylor’s reputation through duplicitous means.
#SayHerName: Black Women And Girls Killed By Police
1. Atatiana Jefferson1 of 15
2. Pamela Turner2 of 15
3. Korryn Gaines3 of 15
4. Yvette Smith4 of 15
5. Miriam Carey5 of 15
6. Shelley Frey6 of 15
7. Darnisha Harris7 of 15
8. Malissa Williams8 of 15
9. Shantel Davis
9 of 15
Protest Held In Brooklyn At Church Ave Over Police Shooting Of Shantel Davis pic.twitter.com/pivdRC8FRU— Luna (@TheLunaInverse) July 14, 2016
10. Rekia Boyd10 of 15
11. Aiyana Stanley-Jones11 of 15
12. Tarika Wilson12 of 15
13. Kathryn Johnston
13 of 15
Atlanta now says will release police reports on Kathryn Johnston shooting and one other to Citizen's Review Board. Board chair is shocked.— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) July 7, 2009
14. Kendra James
14 of 15
Memorial planned to mark 10-year anniversary of Portland police fatal shooting of Kendra James: http://t.co/TmzUNsT5WP— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) April 30, 2013
Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Indicts 1 As Killer Louisville Cops ‘Got Away With Murder’ was originally published on newsone.com