Fury as no police charged directly over fatal Breonna Taylor shooting

A police officer has been indicted following the death of Breonna Taylor in March – but not on charges directly linked to her being shot.

Of the three officers involved, Brett Hankison was the only one to be indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment – after he fired his gun into neighbouring apartments.

He could face up to five years in prison for each of the three counts.

Breonna Taylor was a qualified EMT. Pic: Family
Image:Breonna Taylor was a qualified EMT. Pic: Family handout

Kentucky’s attorney general Daniel Cameron said the investigation found the remaining two officers were justified in their use of force.

“According to Kentucky law, the use of force by Officers Jonathan Mattingly and (Myles) Cosgrove was justified to protect themselves. This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Miss Breonna Taylor’s death.

“The decision before my office as the special prosecutor in this case was not to decide if the loss of Ms Taylor’s life was a tragedy. The answer to that is unequivocally yes.”

FRANKFORT, KY - SEPTEMBER 23: Kentucky Attorney General, Daniel Cameron, speaks to the media during a press conference on September 23, 2020 in Frankfort, Kentucky. Cameron announced partial charges being filed against Brett Hankison, a former Louisville Metro Police Officer for his role in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor during the execution of a no-knock raid on her apartment on March 13, 2020. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)
Image:Daniel Cameron says the loss of Ms Taylor’s life was a tragedy

Mr Cameron added that “I understand that Breonna Taylor’s death is part of a national story, but the facts and evidence in this case are different than others” involving police shootings.

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The FBI is still investigating potential violations of federal law in the case.

Taylor family lawyer Ben Crump described the lack of charges directly related to Ms Taylor’s death as “outrageous and offensive”.

And campaigner Linda Sarsour, of Until Freedom, tweeted: “Justice has NOT been served.

“Rise UP. All across this country. Everywhere. Rise up for #BreonnaTaylor.”

Ms Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was woken from her bed before being shot several times after police burst into her Kentucky apartment at night using a so-called “no-knock” arrest warrant that did not require them to announce themselves.

Protesters hold signs as they gather to protest police brutality and racism in the US, with the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 29, 2020. - The Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd, a handcuffed African American man, was charged with murder on May 29 as authorities declared a curfew after three nights of violent protests left parts of the city in flames. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)
Image:Her death sparked months of protests

Police typically use them in drug cases over concerns that evidence could be destroyed if they announce their arrival.

The warrant used, however, was connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside the home.

The use of no-knock warrants has since been banned by Louisville’s Metro Council.

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Ms Taylor’s death sparked months of protests in Louisville and across the US, with the demonstrations intensified by the high-profile killings of other unarmed African Americans by police, such as George Floyd in Minneapolis and Daniel Prude in Rochester, New York.

Following the decision, police arrested a number of people during protests in downtown Louisville.

Demonstrators in “Injustice Square” chanted, “No justice, no peace!” and began marching through the streets. Some sat quietly and wept.

Police later cordoned off a street with yellow tape, telling protesters to move back.

Officers in protective gear could be seen detaining and handcuffing a number of people.

Last week, the city of Louisville settled a lawsuit from Ms Taylor’s family for $12m (£9.4m) and pledged several police reforms as part of the agreement.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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