Breonna Taylor Case: 1 Officer Indicted on Criminal Charges
By Rachel McRady
A new development has been made in the case of Breonna Taylor. Taylor was a 26-year-old Black EMT who was killed on March 13 in her home in Louisville, Kentucky, by Louisville Metro Police. She and boyfriend Kenneth Walker were in their own home when police made a late-night raid on the wrong address, executing a "no-knock" warrant and looking for someone who had been taken into police custody hours earlier. Taylor was shot eight times. Though one officer was fired months after the incident, none of the officers involved had been arrested or charged until Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced the results of the grand jury proceedings in the case. The grand jury indicted one officer on criminal charges. Former Louisville Metro Police Department Detective Brett Hankison has been charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. No other officer has been charged at this time.
Ben Crump, attorney for the family of Taylor, tweeted that he was unhappy with the decision.
"Jefferson County Grand Jury indicts former ofc. Brett Hankison with 3 counts of Wanton Endangerment in 1st Degree for bullets that went into other apartments but NOTHING for the murder of Breonna Taylor. This is outrageous and offensive!"
If Brett Hankison's behavior was wanton endangerment to people in neighboring apartments, then it should have been wanton endangerment in Breonna Taylor's apartment too. In fact, it should have been ruled wanton murder!
In a press conference, Cameron called Taylor's death a "tragedy."
"This is a tragedy. And sometimes, the criminal law is not adequate to respond to a tragedy," he said. "And I fully acknowledge that and I know many that are watching today and those listening recognize that as well. But the response is that the grand jury was given all of the evidence, presented all the information, and ultimately, made the determination that Detective Hankison was the one to be indicted."
The FBI had been investigating whether Taylor's civil rights were violated. The city of Louisville already agreed to pay $12 million to Taylor's family and institute police reform in the family's wrongful death suit.
Taylor's death has become one of many that have inspired calls for racial justice and an end to police brutality across the country and around the world since May. After Taylor was killed, #SayHerName started trending and is used to continue to shed light on the case.