A group of police officers who shot a black paramedic dead in her home will not be charged with killing her. Fired Louisville Police Detective Brett Hankison will face three wanton endangerment charges over the March 13 shooting death of Breonna Taylor at her home in Louisville, Kentucky.
No charges against his colleagues Myles Cosgrove – the cop who fired the fatal shot – and Jonathan Mattingly were filed, sparking fury among family members who accused all three of murder.
Hankison was charged over stray bullets that flew into a neighboring apartment while he shot into Taylor’s home, rather than the five shots which killed the paramedic. A warrant for his arrest has been issued, and his bail amount has been set at $15,000. He faces up to 15 years behind bars if convicted.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Cosgrove and Mattingly were found to be ‘justified’ in shooting on the night of Taylor’s death because they were defending themselves. Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Williams fired the first shot after the trio of cops burst into her home.
There was no surveillance video or bodycam footage of the killing, with investigators relying on ballistics reports to reach their conclusions.
The decision was relayed by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Annie O’Connell on Wednesday afternoon, sparked devastation among Taylor’s friends and supporters, who wanted all three cops to face murder charges.
Supporters gathered close to the courthouse were left in tears, with one woman heard screaming through tears that murder charges should have been brought. Taylor’s mother Tamika Palmer said the police officers involved should face homicide charges.
Her daughter’s death sparked a wave of protests by Black Lives Matter activists, with much of downtown Louisville boarded-up and sealed off ahead of Wednesday’s grand jury announcement in anticipation of further unrest.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has declared a state of emergency and imposed a 72 hour curfew, beginning at 9pm each evening, and ending at 6:30am the following morning.
Taylor was killed after her boyfriend Kenneth Walker began firing at Hankison, Cosgrove and Mattingly as they executed a search on Taylor’s apartment. It had previously been described as a ‘no-knock’ warrant, suggesting cops had entered without warning.
But Attorney General Cameron said Wednesday that the officers had knocked and announced their presence before entering the apartment, and that this had been corroborated by a witness.
Louisville Police Department say they suspected him of being a drug dealer – an allegation Walker denies.
Walker struck Mattingly in the leg, prompting Hankison and Cosgrove to fire bullets into the apartment, striking Taylor multiple times and killing her.
An investigation into Taylor’s death kicked off in May, with Hankison fired from his job in June for firing 10 bullets blindly on the night of Taylor’s death.
Cosgrove and Mattingly have been reassigned to administrative duties pending the announcement on whether they will face criminal charges.
Earlier this month, Taylor’s family were awarded a $12million settlement from the city of Louisville over their daughter’s wrongful death.
City officials have also enacted police reforms – including much tighter rules and scrutiny on officers enacting warrants in a bid to avoid a similar shooting.
The young paramedic’s death hit the headlines in the wake of the killing of unarmed black security guard George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.
Floyd died after Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes 46 seconds, with footage of his death sparking worldwide outrage.
Chauvin has since been charged with Floyd’s murder – with the father-of-two’s death triggering ongoing Black Lives Matter marches protesting against systemic racism and police brutality.
News – Cops who shot black paramedic Breonna Taylor won’t be charged with killing her