A Kentucky grand jury has inducted former officer Brett Hankison in the murder case of unarmed Black woman Breonna Taylor. The ex-cop is only one of three law enforcement individuals charged in the case with three counts of wanton endangerment.
Breonna Taylor Officer Charged
According to reports, all of the counts are for an extreme indifference to human life during the fatal March 2020 shooting when Hankison fired his gun into three apartments. However, none of the counts are directly linked to her death.
The grand jury presented its findings before Judge Annie O’Connell, and the hearing was broadcast remotely. The attorney general’s office asked that a warrant be issued and that Hankison be held in lieu of $15,000 cash bond. Grand juries do not determine guilt or innocence; only whether there is enough evidence to bring criminal charges. Typically, they hear only from the police and prosecutors to make that determination. Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police officers during a middle-of-the night raid on her apartment on March 13. Three officers fired their weapons: Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, Officer Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison. (WFPL)
Breonna Taylor Case Decision Sparks State Of Emergency
This week, Louisville’s Mayor Greg Fischer declared a state of emergency after the local police department called for it on Monday. The huge decision reportedly allowed Fischer to exercise emergency powers including curfews, restrictions and hired services needed as a result of today’s grand jury decision.
Fischer also announced Tuesday an executive order restricting access to five downtown parking garages and banning on-street parking in order to “provide an extra layer of security for protests in and around Jefferson Square Park.” (WLKY News)
Louisville Metro Police Department
Earlier in the week, Louisville police issued a statement on restrictions and downtown protocols.
The mayor’s announcement comes on the heels of the Louisville Metro Police Department saying that “a decision was made to accelerate plans” to restrict access to several parts of downtown. (NPR)
The Inevitable Decision
According to reports, the current investigation by the attorney general has only generated more protests for justice in the memory of Taylor. However, some legal experts were unsure if the cops responsible for her death would get charged.
Legal experts have said that whether the officers will be charged is unclear but may be unlikely given the protection that is offered to police. Self-defense laws in most states, including Kentucky, allow a person to use deadly force against an intruder in their home. But in Kentucky that protection does not allow a person to harm police officers if the person knows or can reasonably assume police have entered their home. (The Guardian)