The Jefferson County grand jury has indicted one officer on criminal charges six months after Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky.
In a zoom court hearing, Circuit Judge Annie O’Connell announced that Brett Hankison will be charged with three counts of “wanton endangerment” in the first-degree in Taylor’s shooting death.
According to Kentucky law: “A person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person.”
Wanton endangerment in the first degree is a Class D felony, and a conviction carries a maximum penalty of five years.
The Root’s Michael Harriot put it best:
“If Breonna Taylor was an actual drug dealer, she would have received more time than the man who murdered her.
1st Deg. Wanton Endangerment is a Class D felony. Other Class D felonies: shoplifting, cultivating marijuana, eavesdropping & stealing mail.
Most do no prison time.”
If Breonna Taylor was an actual drug dealer, she would have received more time than the man who murdered her.
1st Deg. Wanton Endangerment is a Class D felony.
Other Class D felonies: shoplifting, cultivating marijuana, eavesdropping & stealing mail.
Most do no prison time.
— michaelharriot (@michaelharriot) September 23, 2020
It’s important to note that Hankison was NOT charged because he shot and killed Breonna Taylor. He was charged because the bullets he fired entered a neighboring apartment.
Officers Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove were not charged, and no homicide charges were pursued.
In other words … NO OFFICERS WERE CHARGED FOR KILLING BREONNA TAYLOR.
Hankison, who will be held on a $15,000 bond once arrested, had already been fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department for showing “extreme indifference to the value of human life” by “blindly” firing 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment during the raid, according to his termination letter.
Prior to the announcement, the City of Louisville had already preemptively declared a state of emergency and put a 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. curfew in place in anticipation of the ruling.
Cops were told they wouldn’t be able to take time off for a while starting this week so that all hands would be on deck amid expected protests and unrest in the city.
Breonna Taylor, 26, was killed on March 13th when police tried to serve a no-knock warrant at her house.
Both Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, who is accused of firing on one of the officers and was previously charged with attempted murder, were sleeping at the time.
The LMPD officers fired over twenty shots. Taylor was shot eight times and LMPD sergeant Mattingly was injured by Walker’s gunfire.
Walker’s attorney said that he opened fire in self-defense and didn’t know it was police at the door.
Taylor’s family recently settled with the city of Louisville for $12 million in a wrongful death lawsuit.