The Kentucky attorney general has announced the highly awaited decision on the death of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, one officer has been charged in connection to the case. The two other officers have not been indicted.
On Wednesday afternoon, attorney general Daniel Cameron discussed the decision from the steps of the Kentucky History Center in Frankfort, Ky, after a grand jury heard the case of the three white officers who fired multiple shots into Taylor’s apartment on March 13. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Officer Brett Hankison was indicted on three counts of first degree wanton endangerment in the incident for stray shots, while Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, Detective Myles Cosgrove, has not been indicted for murder. No one was charged for killing Taylor.
Ahead of the announcement, Louisville, Kentucky braced for the aftermath that may come from the decision by cutting off access to the downtown area and putting up barriers and fences. Mayor Greg Fischer and the city’s police department declared state of emergencies on Tuesday, USA Today reports. Taylor’s death garnered over 125 days of protesters in the city and national media coverage who vowed not to let her name go unheard.
There is a separate internal investigation of six officers—including the three who fired their guns that tragic night to determine if they acted against polices of the department.
Last week, Taylor’s family reached a $12 million settlement with the city of Louisville that also included a list of police reforms, a move that was criticized by the local union who felt betrayed by the mayor. Still, activists say the only way to get justice is to arrest the officers involved.
Shortly after midnight on March 13, Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville police officers who used a battering ram to enter Taylor’s apartment while acting on a drug-related no-knock search warrant.
According to the New York Times, the police were investigating two suspects accused of selling drugs out of a house near Taylor’s apartment. A judge executed the search warrant after officers said they believed one of the men had use Taylor’s residence to get packages. However, Taylor had cut ties with the suspect the officers were looking for, Jamarcus Glover, who was arrested on August 27.
“The police are trying to make it out to be my fault and turning the whole community out here, making it look like I brought this to Breonna’s door,” Glover, he said, adding that Taylor had no involvement in his affairs.
The night of the incident, Taylor was at her home with boyfriend Kenneth Walker, the two were in bed but got up after they heard a commotion at the door. Walker reported that he asked who was at the door and he feared that it was Taylor’s ex-boyfriend trying to get in. Once police bust the door down, Walker fired shots, hitting an officer in the leg.
In return, officers fired several shots, five of which struck and killed Taylor. According to the outlet, officers released the ambulance on standby an hour before the raid took place, which was a violation of standard policy. Walker said Taylor did not receive any medical attention, even as she coughed and fought to breathe for at least five minutes, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.
It was Walker who called 911, five minutes after the shooting, it was then that emergency personnel became aware that Taylor was severely hurt. “I don’t know what’s happening,” Mr. Walker said on a recorded call to 911. “Someone kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend.” According to dispatch logs, 20 minutes went by before medical attention was given to Taylor. The coroner for Jefferson County told the local newspaper, Taylor died less than a minute after being shot and could not have been saved.
There is still controversy about whether or not the officers’ announced themselves. No drugs were retrieved at Taylor’s home.
Officer Hankison, was fired. The other officers involved in the case — Mr. Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove — have been placed on administrative reassignment.
The police report had a string of errors, notably, it listed Taylor’s injuries as “none.” It also reported that the officers hadn’t barged into the apartment, but it was evident they broke the door down using a ram.
As a result, On June 11, city officials banned “No-Knock” warrants. Mayor Greg Fischer said there will be more changes to ensure “more scrutiny, transparency, and accountability,” including the naming of a new police chief; a new requirement that body cameras always be worn during the execution of search warrants; and the establishment of a civilian review board for police disciplinary matters.