One of three former police officers was indicted Wednesday for his involvement in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.
The Kentucky grand jury announced that former Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment after the shooting on March 13. Hankison could face up five years for each of the three counts.
Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by officers the night of her death. Hankison, joined by Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, used a no-knock warrant to enter Taylor’s home on the basis of a narcotics case. No drugs were found and the intended suspect lived elsewhere.
Mattingly and Cosgrove were placed on administrative leave following the shooting; they were not indicted during Wednesday’s grand jury decision. State Attorney General Daniel Cameron said their use of force was justified.
Prior to being indicted, Hankison was fired and his bail was set at $15,000. A termination letter addressed to Hankison by interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder described his actions as that of someone with “extreme indifference to the value of human life.” Hankison fired into Taylor’s apartment 10 times on March 13.
Outrage over Taylor’s death has sparked protests across the nation. Louisville is prepared for the displays of anger and sadness. On Tuesday, Mayor Greg Fischer declared a state of emergency and announced an executive order banning on-street parking to protect protesters.
Cameron has urged protesters to take a different approach in response to the indictment.
“If we simply act on emotion or outrage, there is no justice,” Cameron said. “Mob justice is not justice. Justice sought by violence is not justice. It just becomes revenge.”
The announcement has prompted many people to express feelings of disappointment and frustration over Wednesday’s grand jury decision. Many, who have supported #JusticeforBreonnaTaylor, believe their cries have not been heard.
Attorney Ben Crump, legal representation for the Taylor family, tweeted that the charges involved “NOTHING for the murder of Breonna Taylor.” He described the charges as being outrageous and offensive.
On Sept. 15, Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother, settled her lawsuit against Louisville and was awarded $12 million dollars.