Two officers shot, suspect in custody after grand jury decision on Breonna Taylor case

A grand jury in Jefferson County, Ky., has indicted a former Louisville police detective on three charges of wanton endangerment in the first degree in the March 13 shooting that resulted in the death of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor.


Brett Hankison, one of three officers involved, was fired by the department in June, with a termination letter saying he “wantonly and blindly” shot 10 times into Taylor’s apartment. He is accused of endangering lives in a neighboring unit after firing the rounds.

Taylor’s name became a rallying cry for policing overhauls and racial justice as the Black Lives Matter movement swept the United States this summer.

On Wednesday evening, two officers were shot following the indictment, and a suspect is in custody, authorities said. The shooting occurred about 8:30 p.m. as officers responded to shots fired in a large crowd. The officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries, said the interim police chief.

Here are some significant developments:

The grand jury did not announce indictments against the other officers involved in Taylor’s death. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R), facing the toughest moment yet in his fledgling political career, said he did not anticipate charges in the future.

President Trump tweeted his support for the two Louisville officers who were shot Wednesday night. “The Federal Government stands behind you and is ready to help,” the president said.

Ben Crump, one of the attorneys for Taylor’s family, told CNN that the grand jury’s decision felt “like killing Breonna all over again.”

Dozens of protesters were arrested in Louisville Wednesday night, said police spokesman Sgt. Lamont Washington. While the arrest numbers were still being tallied early Thursday, Washington said he expected the total to be close to 100.

Asked about the Taylor case, Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, said he hoped for peaceful demonstrations, but rankled some activists by singling out protesters in Louisville and associated their cause with violence.

Cameron said the state’s investigation determined the officers’ use of force was “justified” because they had been fired upon first, by Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend. Walker has sued Louisville police and disputed their version of events.

Cameron said the investigation uncovered one witness who heard the detectives identify themselves, disputing earlier reports that a “no-knock” warrant was being served. However, Taylor family attorneys have disputed this, and police were not wearing body cameras.

Inside the Kentucky History Center, the state’s top law enforcement official was explaining why Breonna Taylor’s death was a tragedy, but not a crime.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) had reviewed the evidence. He had studied the law. He had come to a conclusion about how justice could best be served, and it didn’t involve prosecuting police officers for shooting to death the 26-year-old emergency room technician in her apartment after midnight on March 13.

The two officers at her door that night, Cameron said, were “justified” in using force to defend themselves after Taylor’s boyfriend — fearing an intruder, not the police, was breaking into the apartment — fired on them.

But even as he spoke, a very different judgment was already coming in on the streets of Louisville. Hundreds of people were marching through an otherwise deserted downtown. Some shouted obscenities at police. Others lit a trash can on fire.

Post a comment

0 Comments