A Jefferson County grand jury has indicted former officer Brett Hankison involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT who was killed by Louisville Metro Police Department officers on March 13.
Hankison will face three counts of wanton endangerment in the 1st degree. A warrant was issued for his arrest and his bail was set at $15,000. If Hankison is found guilty, he would only face 1-5 years in prison. It is the lowest charge Hankison could face. Taylor’s family felt at the very least that all officers be charged with manslaughter.
Hankison, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove could have faced charges including but not limited to reckless homicide to murder, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. To date, Mattingly and Cosgrove were placed on administrative leave while Hankison was fired for blindly shooting 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment and neighboring apartments. He is actively appealing the disciplinary action.
“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!” Taylor’s family lawyer Benjamin Crump tweeted.
Tension was thick leading up to the decisions announcement. We have seen time and time again that the judicial system was built to uphold faint ideals that go in direct opposition to the themes of liberty and justice for all. Even as some of us held out that there would be an opportunity, America’s foundation proves otherwise.
The three officers who served as the public face in the case represent a small portion of those being investigated. According to ABC News, six officers are the focus of an internal investigation by the Louisville Metro Police Department including, Cosgrove, Mattingly, Det. Joshua Jaynes, who sought the search warrant for her apartment; and Det. Tony James, Det. Michael Campbell and Det. Michael Nobles.
What remains is this: On March 13, Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker were asleep in her apartment when officers approached Taylor’s door with a battering ram. According to Walker’s account, both he and Taylor asked who was on the other side of the door, to no answer. LMPD officials have claimed the officers did knock, and were given authority through a no-knock warrant. Walker claimed self-defense fired first, striking Mattingly in the thigh. Mattingly and Cosgrove returned fire, fatally striking Taylor six times.
LMPD officers were investigating Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, who was eventually arrested on drug charges. No drugs or money were found at Taylor’s apartment.
All of this fell on the shoulders of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who resided over the case. The whole handling of Taylor’s murder has been a disgrace, from the poorly timed release of his engagement photos, to his support of Trump at the Republican National Convention last month.
Cameron insisted that his office could not move forward without at ballistics report from the FBI, which he received around the end of August.
In response to the undoubted upheaval around the grand jury decision, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has instituted a curfew on residents from 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. over the course of 72 hours. There has been a state of civil unrest for over 100 days since Taylor’s case was brought to light.
Breonna Taylor, we will continue to say your name. We will continue to fight in your honor. We are tired, but we are not done.