Breonna Taylor Killing: Grand Jury Indicts One Cop On “Wanton Endangerment” Charge; Family Sought Manslaughter Verdict

(Updated with Ben Crump tweet) A grand jury in Kentucky decided today to indict a Louisville cop with low level criminal charges in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor earlier this year.

In a rare move against law enforcement, former Louisville Detective Brett Hankison has been indicted for wanton endangerment in the first degree for his role in situation surrounding the March 13 fatality. The relatively weak felony charge that Hankinson faces has a maximum penalty of five years behind bars. The two other cops involved in the shooting were not indicted. The three charges against Hankinson actually are centered on shots fired at other apartments in Taylor’s complex.

Represented by civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, Taylor’s family had advocated for manslaughter charges. Crump took to social media not long after the grand jury result was made public:

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The state’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron has scheduled a news conference on Wednesday to discuss the grand jury result.

On March 13, Louisville Metro Police Department officers Hankison, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly burst the 26-year old EMT’s apartment with a no-knock search warrant at the wrong address. Since that terrible day, none of the trio have been arrested for the killing of Taylor. An outrage that has seen the likes of LeBron James, ex-VP and Presidential candidate Joe Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, and Beyonce speak out for action. Oprah Winfrey and many other luminaries also conduct a high profile “Justice for Breonna” campaign.

In a potential prelude for today’s grand jury result, Hankison was fired in June after the LMPD interim chief determined he used excessive “deadly force in this fashion.” Cosgrove and Mattingly, who was wounded in defensive gunshots from Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker, were both taken off the streets and put in administrative positions this spring.

After the police crashed through Taylor’s apartment door with a battering ram, Hankison fired over 10 shots into the Taylor’s residence and other homes. Taylor was killed by six bullets to her body, reports confirmed. Hankison was disciplined previously by the LMPD last year for reckless conduct.

Hankison, Cosgrove and Mattingly were not wearing body cams and there is no video footage of their entrance into Taylor’s home and the subsequent shooting.

Reminiscent of the uprising and social unrest that occurred in LA in 1992 when four LAPD cops were acquitted of using excessive force against Rodney King, the city of Louisville is in near total lockdown With the metropolis under curfew tonight, the National Guard have been activated in the last hour, I am told by law enforcement.

On September 15, the city of Louisville settled a wrongful death lawsuit from the family of Taylor for $12 million. As well, civic authorities pledged deep reaching police reforms, including greater oversight of search warrants. The settlement came after months of AG Cameron and other local leaders not meeting with the Taylor family until just last month.

All of cable newsers went live with the revelations of the grand jury today.


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