Officer in Breonna Taylor shooting indicted for firing into neighbors’ homes

“With all we know about Breonna Taylor’s killing, how could a fair and just system result in today’s decision?”

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One of the police officers responsible for fatally shooting Breonna Taylor was recently charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for indiscriminately firing into hers and her neighbors’ apartments. Despite the fact that an innocent unarmed woman was killed by police officers, none of the officers face criminal charges for her death.

On March 13, Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove wearing plainclothes with police vests executed a no-knock drug warrant at Taylor’s residence in Kentucky. According to Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, he thought intruders were breaking into the apartment and shot at them with his licensed firearm.

The officers reportedly fired more than 30 rounds into Taylor’s apartment and neighboring apartments. They fatally shot Taylor at least five times even though she had been unarmed.

No drugs were found inside her residence.

In June, Officer Hankison was fired from the department for displaying “an extreme indifference to the value of human life” and because he “wantonly and blindly fired ten (10) rounds” into Taylor’s apartment, according to his termination letter. LMPD Chief Robert Schroeder added, “Some of the rounds you fired actually travelled into the apartment next to Ms. Taylor’s endangering the three lives in that apartment.”

On Wednesday, a Jefferson County grand jury decided not to indict the three officers for fatally shooting Taylor, but the jury did indict Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment for blindly firing into the homes of Taylor’s neighbors during the shooting. Earlier this month, the city of Louisville announced a $12 million settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family.

Shortly after the indictment was announced Wednesday, Ben Crump, an attorney for Taylor’s family, issued the following statement: “The Grand Jury’s decision in the killing of Breonna Taylor is outrageous and offensive to her memory. It’s yet another example of no accountability for the genocide of persons of color by white police officers. With all we know about Breonna Taylor’s killing, how could a fair and just system result in today’s decision?”

Crump added, “If Hankison’s behavior constituted wanton endangerment of the people in the apartments next to hers, then it should also be considered wanton endangerment of Breonna. In fact, it should have been ruled wanton murder.”

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