Grand jury decision to indict former Louisville detective Brett Hankison ONLY, with three counts of wanton endangerment in connection to the police raid on the night of March 13 sparks public fury
In anticipation of the of the announcement, the city of Louisville, KY, had declared a 72 hour curfew and the national guard is mobilized
Sgt. Myles Cosgrove and detective John Mattingly who was shot in the thigh during the police raid on March 13, were not charged on Wednesday
Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman, was killed shortly after midnight on March 13 when three plainclothes officers used a battering ram to force their way in to her Louisville home with a so-called no knock warrant
Taylor was in bed with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, who fearing intruders, fired a gun
The three officers fired their guns, striking Taylor multiple times times – Taylor was shot six times, fatal round was fired by Cosgrove
‘Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified to return fire,’ based on evidence, said Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron on Wednesday
Detective Brett Hankison was fired earlier from the LMPD, on the same charges
Cosgrove and Mattingly have since being on administrative assignment
City officials are bracing for further unrest ahead of the highly anticipated decision, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on Wednesday also announced a 72-hour curfew for the city beginning at 9pm
The decision which comes six months after Taylor’s death shocked and infuriated activists who continue the protests, seeking justice for Taylor
Only one of three Louisville police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor was indicted by a Kentucky grand jury on Wednesday, but not on a murder charge.
The grand jury also deemed police shooting that led to Taylor’s death ‘justified’.
The decision brings an end to a six-month investigation into the case that sparked mass protests against police brutality nationwide.
Jefferson County Circuit Judge Annie O’Connell announced the grand jury’s decision in open court on Wednesday afternoon, detective Brett Hankison with three counts of wanton endangerment in connection to the police raid on the night of March 13.
Brett Hankinson had already been dismissed from the police department on the same charge, while the other two officers were placed on administrative assignment
two other officers, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, who were also present at the time of Taylor’s death, were not charged.
Neither the grand jury nor the presiding judge elaborated on the charges.
State Attorney General Daniel Cameron addressed the long-awaited decision shortly after in a news conference in the capital, Frankfort.
Protesters have consistently pressured him to act, and celebrities and pro athletes had joined them in calling on the attorney general to charge the police who shot Taylor.
At one point, demonstrators converged on his house and were charged with felonies for trying to intimidate the prosecutor.
Cameron previously had refused to set a deadline for announcing his decision on the investigation.
Six months after the death of Taylor and following massive protests nationwide, Kentucky AG, Kenneth Cameron, announced that the evidence shows that the officers arrived at Taylor’s apartment, knocked and announced that they were police officers before the shooting.
This version was corroborated by an independent witness at the residences: “In other words, the warrant was not served as a no-knock warrant,” Cameron said about the controversial warrant.
Taylor was shot six times. The fatal round was fired by Cosgrove, Cameron said.
A bullet fired by the victim’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, injured detective John Mattingly, according to Cameron, who cited evidence investigators found, adding that
‘Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified to return fire’.
Cameron noted that an FBI investigation into potential violations of federal law is ongoing and said he is “committed to being a part of the healing process.” He said he would put together a task force to determine if changes are required to the process by which search warrants are approved. He also called on Kentuckians to pay no mind to celebrities, athletes and others who seek to influence how those in the state feel about the ruling. He said he does not expect further criminal charges to come from the case.
Ahead of the announcement by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s announcement about whether he will charge officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, Louisville police had declared a state of emergency
The grand decision on Wednesday meant that officers Myles Cosgrove and John Mattingly who were present during the police raid on March 13, will face no charges.
Both men had also fired their weapons the night Taylor was shot and killed.
Only Hankison who was fired from the LMPD faces charges related to reckless endangerment.
Kentucky State Police were out in force outside the historic museum, with squad cars and orange cones blocking the building as the verdict loomed.
Meanwhile in Louisville, officials had been bracing for more protests and possible unrest as the public nervously awaits the decision. Most of the city’s business district was boarded up
In a midday press conference, Mayor Greg Fischer announced he will impose a 72-hour curfew in the city, from 9pm to 6.30am.
‘No matter what Attorney General Cameron announces, I urge everyone to commit, once again, to a peaceful, lawful response,’ the mayor told reporters.
While emphasizing he does not know the grand jury’s finding, the mayor has declared a state of emergency in the city.
Louisville Metro Police Department also closed off much of downtown to vehicles.
The mayor and police said they were trying to plan ahead of time to protect both demonstrators and the people who live and work there.
Courthouses, offices and restaurants were already boarded up on Tuesday in the mostly deserted blocks around the city’s Jefferson Square Park, the site of regular demonstrations against police brutality that have spread across the nation.
Concrete barriers ringed the area, with a handful of checkpoints manned by police who would only allow people with essential business to drive downtown.
‘Our goal with these steps is ensuring space and opportunity for potential protesters to gather and express their First Amendment rights,’ Mayor Greg Fischer, a white Democrat, said in a statement.
‘At the same time, we are preparing for any eventuality to keep everyone safe.’ He emphasized he did not know when any decision might come.
Officials and local businesses in downtown Louisville braced for potential unrest on Tuesday, after Mayor Greg Fischer declared a state of emergency.
Plywood covers the windows of downtown businesses as the city prepares for the grand jury findings in the case of Breonna Taylor
Protesters vowed Wednesday to continue their fight for racial justice after learning that just one of three Louisville Metro Police officers who shot into Breonna Taylor’s apartment will be criminally charged in her death.
This followed the afternoon announcement, Jefferson County Judge Annie O’Connell said a Jefferson County grand jury has indicted former detective Brett Hankinson on on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.
The grand jury declined to bring charges against Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and detective Myles Cosgrove, who were also involved in the March 13 shooting at Taylor’s south Louisville home.
“It’s a tragedy. This is an embarrassment, and it’s exactly why there have been protests for the last (119) days,” said pastor Tim Findley, a regular at the protests.
“This is a disappointing, hurtful, painful day in our city. What I just heard amounts to a slap on the wrist for him murdering, for them murdering Breonna Taylor.”
Defense attorney Kent Wicker, representing detective Daniel Mattingly said in a statement that the decision to not press charges against his client and fellow LMPD officer Sgt. Myles Cosgrove shows “the system worked.”
“The death of Breonna Taylor is a tragedy,” Wicker wrote.
“But these officers did not act in a reckless or unprofessional manner.
“They did their duty, performed their roles as law enforcement officers and, above all, did not break the law,” Wicker stated.
Taylor, 26, was killed shortly after midnight on March 13 when three plainclothes officers used a battering ram to force their way in to her Louisville home with a so-called no knock warrant.
Fearing intruders, her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a gun. The three officers fired their guns, striking Taylor five times.
attorney General Cameron, a Black Republican, has said his investigation into Taylor’s death is ongoing, but has declined to confirm media reports that he is convening a grand jury to vote on whether to bring criminal charges against the officers.
Last week, the city of Louisville agreed to pay Taylor’s family a record-breaking $12million in a wrongful death lawsuit that her mother Tamika Palmer filed against the city and its police department back in April.
At a September 15 press conference announcing the settlement, Palmer repeated her plea for charges to be brought against the officers involved in her daughter’s death.
‘As significant as today is, it is only the beginning,’ Palmer said. ‘We must not lose focus on what the real job is, and with that being said, it’s time to move forward with the criminal charges, because she deserves that and much more.’
In addition to the $12million, the settlement will also include a series of police reforms for Louisville.
Among the reforms is a requirement that police commanders must approve all search warrants before they are sent to a judge.
Mayor Greg Fischer stated that the settlement had nothing to do with Cameron’s criminal investigation and said the city would be enacting reforms regardless of the outcome.
‘I’m deeply, deeply sorry for Breonna’s death,’ Fischer said. ‘My administration is not waiting to move ahead with needed reforms to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again.’
As part of the settlement, the mayor said Louisville police officers will be offered housing credits to move to some of the poorest parts of the city in the hopes of improving community ties.