Breonna Taylor: Officer arrested, released on $15K bail after indictment
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Former Louisville Metro Police officer Brett Hankison was arrested and released about a half-hour later on $15,000 bail Wednesday afternoon, according to WHAS.
A Kentucky grand jury earlier on Wednesday indicted Hankison, who was the only police officer charged for shooting into neighboring apartments, but did not move forward with charges against any officers for their role in Breonna Taylor’s death.
A grand jury announced that Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in connection with the police raid on the night of March 13.
A grand jury announced that former Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in connection to the police raid on the night of March 13. His bond was set at $15,000.
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At a news conference, state Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Hankison and the two other officers who entered Taylor’s apartment announced themselves before entering the apartment and did not use a no-knock warrant.
“According to Kentucky law, the use of force by (Officers Jonathan Mattingly and (Myles) Cosgrove was justified to protect themselves. This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Miss Breonna Taylor’s death.”
Regarding the inevitable disappointment by those who wanted criminal charges brought in Taylor’s death, he remarked, “The decision before my office as the special prosecutor in this case was not to decide if the loss of Ms. Taylor’s life was a tragedy. The answer to that is unequivocally yes.”
Cameron added that, “I understand that Breonna Taylor's death is part of a national story, but the facts and evidence in this case are different than others” involving police shootings.
“If we simply act on emotion or outrage, there is no justice," Cameron said. "Mob justice is not justice. Justice sought by violence is not justice. It just becomes revenge.”
Cameron added that the FBI would continue to investigate potential violations of federal law in the case.
“I urge everyone listening today to not lost sight of the fact that a life has been lost, a tragedy under any circumstances,” Cameron said.
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Immediately after the announcement, people expressed frustration that the grand jury did not do more. Attorney Ben Crump, who represents Taylor’s family, said the lack of charges directly related to her death "outrageous and offensive."
“Justice has NOT been served,” tweeted Linda Sarsour of Until Freedom, a group that has pushed for charges in the case. “Rise UP. All across this country. Everywhere. Rise up for #BreonnaTaylor.”
The decision comes after months of large protests over Taylor’s death.
An undated photo shows Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky.
Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by officers on March 13. The three officers entered her home using a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation in the late evening. The warrant used was connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside.
The officers fired after Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a shot that struck an officer. Walker said he didn't know police were at the door and thought it was an intruder.
On Monday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer declared a state of emergency due to the potential for civil unrest, hours after police said they would restrict access in the city's downtown area. The mayor and police said they were trying to plan ahead of time to protect both demonstrators and the people who live and work there.
The case set off a national cry for “justice for Breonna Taylor,” and celebrities, athletes, activists and Taylor’s family for months have pushed Cameron to criminally charge the officers involved in the raid.
Before charges were brought, Hankison was fired from the city’s police department on June 23. A termination letter sent to him by interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said the white officer had violated procedures by showing “extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he “wantonly and blindly” shot 10 rounds of gunfire into Taylor’s apartment in March.
Hankison, Sgt. Johnathan Mattingly, Officer Myles Cosgrove and the detective who sought the warrant, Joshua Jaynes, were placed on administrative reassignment after the shooting.
On Sept. 15, the city settled a lawsuit against the three officers brought by Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, agreeing to pay her $12 million and enact police reforms.
This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.