A grand jury indicted Louisville police detective Brett Hankison in the death of Breonna Taylor on Wednesday, charging him with three counts of wanton endangerment.
The two other officers involved in the case, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, were not charged.
Taylor, 26, died after police tried to enter her residence on March 13 while she and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were sleeping. Louisville officials said officers executed a no-knock warrant at the home, but knocked and announced themselves before breaking down the door, according to a statement from the city.
Walker said he heard a pounding at the door but didn’t hear police announce themselves, the city said. He fired one shot and hit an officer. Police returned fire, killing Taylor.
The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that Walker had fired what he later called a warning shot and hit Mattingly in the thigh. Mattingly and two other officers with him, Hankison and aCosgrove, shot back, the newspaper said.
The officers’ warrant was part of an investigation into a drug trafficking suspect who is Taylor’s former boyfriend, the Associated Press reported.
Louisville Metro Police interim Chief Robert Schroeder terminated Hankison on June 19, according to the city, alleging he “blindly” fired 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment. The other two officers are on administrative leave.
Taylor’s death sparked an outcry across the nation, and she became yet another symbol for demonstrators protesting against police brutality and misconduct targeting Black Americans. Protesters, activists, athletes and celebrities worldwide have called for the officers involved to be charged criminally.
Louisville police turned over the investigation into the shooting to Cameron’s office in May.
The city has been gearing up for potential unrest following Wednesday’s decision. Photos show downtown buildings boarded up. Democratic Mayor Greg Fischer set a three-day curfew on Wednesday from 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
“Our hope is that people will lawfully and peacefully express themselves,” Louisville Police Chief Rob Schroeder said. “We will not tolerate destruction of property.”
Last week, Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the city for $12 million. The settlement included an agreement to implement a number of police reforms.
Thumbnail Credit: AP
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