LIVE UPDATES: Grand Jury Charges 1 Officer in Breonna Taylor Case

Shaun King & Kendi K
Sep 23, 2020 - 12:55

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Update: A grand jury indicted just one officer on criminal charges six months after Louisville Metro Police officers fatally shot Breonna Taylor in her home while conducting a drug raid. Former officer Bret Hankison was indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, according to The Louisville Courier-Journal. Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove were not charged.

None of the officers have been charged directly in Taylor’s death. Hankinson has been charged with three counts for shooting into neighboring apartments.

Original post by Shaun King: Right now, hundreds of thousands of people across the country are anxiously awaiting an announcement regarding the police officers who murdered Breonna Taylor. 

Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove. Those are the names of the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers who broke into the home of Breonna and her boyfriend Kenny Walker and wildly fired their guns. She was shot at least five times. 

There is little to no dispute about the fact that the murder of Breonna, a 26-year-old EMT working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, was a tragic injustice and a gross abuse of police power. The city of Louisville admits this. That’s why they passed “Breonna’s Law,” effectively banning “no-knock warrants.” It’s also why the city settled a wrongful death suit, awarding the family $12 million

All of this took immense public pressure. 

From protests that have gone on steadily for months, to sports stars wearing her name on their jerseys and refusing to stay silent on and off the court, it took millions of people for even the smallest notion of justice to be granted. 

Progress has been made on many fronts, except for the one people have been calling for.

The three officers who murdered Breonna must be held accountable. 

Notice, I do not say “brought to justice.” There is no justice in a case like this. There is no justice in the brutal killing of a young woman whose family will never get to see her again, hold her again. Justice would be if they could have their daughter, sister, niece, cousin and friend back. 

Justice would be if she was never killed at all. 

So instead, I am calling for these officers to be held accountable for their actions within the fullest extent of the law. I am hoping that this criminal justice system that has never worked for Black and Brown people – that was literally built against us – will work in our favor this one time. 

In a few minutes, the Kentucky Attorney General will announce the decision of a grand jury. 

This is a defining moment in our nation’s history. 

I am reminded so much of the 2014 killing of Mike Brown. My entire family sat in front of the television, waiting to see what would come of the case and whether the officer would be held accountable. I remember the devastation of the announcement that he would not and the outrage that followed. 

I can only hope that now, six years later, the outcome will be different. 
On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun recaps this landmark case, and unpacks what comes next.

Senior reporter Nicole Rojas contributed to this report.

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