On Wednesday, the former Louisville police officer who shot and killed Breonna Taylor was indicted by a grand jury on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree. Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced the grand jury’s findings in the infamous case.
The other two officers involved, Sgt. John Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove, will not face charges.
Depending on the grand jury’s findings, Cameron could have declined to prosecute, or charge one or more of the officers.
Protestors at a downtown Louisville memorial to Taylor disagreed with the verdict, because they wanted all three officers charged. In fact, demonstrators wanted Cameron to step down.
Cameron promised to “vigorously prosecute” the criminal charges announced against Hankison.
Cameron also announced that he was creating “a task force to review the process for securing and executing search warrants in Kentucky.” The task force will involve members of the public, law enforcement, elected officials, defense attorneys and judiciary representatives.
“I believe having a top-to-bottom review of the search warrant process is necessary to determine if changes are required and establish the best practices,” Cameron said.
Louisville Braced for Unrest After Breonna Taylor Verdicts
The court finally reached a decision six months after Taylor, a 26-year-old Black EMT and aspiring nurse, died. Officers broke through Taylor’s apartment door while executing a late-night, “no-knock” warrant in a narcotics investigation on March 13. Allegedly, Hankison blindly fired shots that killed Taylor in her own home.
Louisville has braced itself for the possibility of unrest following the court’s decision. For months, demonstrators have criticized the lengthy investigation. Additionally, they have demanded the arrests of all three officers involved.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Louisville Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder anticipated civil unrest in the city. Accordingly, Wednesday afternoon they announced a 72-hour countywide curfew starting at 9 p.m. In addition, the city is closing all government buildings.
Furthermore, officials have decided to activate the Kentucky National Guard as a precautionary measure, Schroeder said.
“I urge everyone to commit once again to a peaceful, lawful response, like we’ve seen here for the majority of the past several months,” Fisher said.
Taylor’s death outraged Americans across the country. The incident led to chants of “say her name” at protests and calls to arrest the involved officers. Taylor’s death renewed focus on Black women killed by police. Taylor’s story gained national attention during demonstrations across the country that followed the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.