Breonna Taylor: Police officer charged however not over loss of life
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Media signatureKentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron presented the decision to the grand jury
A police officer was charged with the narcotics robbery in which a black woman was fatally shot in her home in the US state of Kentucky.
Breonna Taylor, a hospital worker, 26, was shot multiple times when officials stormed her home on March 13.
Brett Hankison was charged not with the death of Ms. Taylor but with “willful harm” for shooting into a neighbor’s home in Louisville.
Two other officers involved were not charged.
Under Kentucky law, a person is guilty of willful harm if he or she commits an act which “shows extreme indifference to the accused Breonna Taylor officer, but not above the mortality value of human life.” Breonna Taylor officer charged but not on death
This lowest level crime may carry a five-year prison sentence for each count. Mr. Hankison has been charged on three counts.
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Ms. Taylor’s relatives and activists, for whom her death has become a rallying call, had called for the three white officers to be charged with murder or manslaughter.
However, this was rejected by a grand jury who examined the evidence.
Taylor, a paramedic, was 26 years old when she died
What did the prosecutor say?
On Wednesday, Judge Annie O’Connell announced the charges brought against Mr. Hankison by a grand jury.
Kentucky Attorney General Mr. Cameron then held a press conference expanding the ruling. “This is a terrible emotional case,” he said.
“There is nothing I can offer you today to alleviate the grief and grief caused by the loss of a child, niece, sister and friend,” he added in a message to Ms. Taylor’s family.
Mr Cameron said a ballistic report found six bullets hit Ms. Taylor, but only one was fatal.
This analysis revealed that Detective Myles Cosgrove had fired the shot that killed Ms. Taylor.
The attorney general said it was not clear if Mr. Hankison’s shots hit Ms. Taylor, but they struck an adjacent apartment.
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Media signatureProtesters march in Louisville following the grand jury’s decision
The chief prosecutor said the other two officers – Jonathan Mattingly and Mr Cosgrove – were “entitled to protect themselves and the justification prevents us from prosecuting criminal charges”.
Mr. Cameron, a Republican who is the state’s first black attorney general, added, “If we only respond to emotion or outrage, there is no justice.
“Mob justice is not justice. Justice sought by violence is not justice. It only becomes revenge.”
He added that the FBI is still investigating possible violations of federal law in the case.
The National Guard was deployed in Louisville prior to the announcement
What’s the reaction
Ben Crump, a noted Taylor family lawyer, said the result was “outrageous and offensive”.
Officials earlier that month agreed to pay her family $ 12 million (£ 9.3 million) in a settlement.
When asked about his reaction to the decision, Trump said at a press conference at the White House, “I thought it was really brilliant.”
He praised Kentucky’s attorney general, who addressed the Republican Convention last month, for “doing a fantastic job.”
“I think he’s a star,” he said, adding that he endorsed the Kentucky governor’s decision to send the National Guard.
Governor Andy Beshear, a Democrat, urged the Kentucky Attorney General to release the evidence presented to the grand jury.
“I think having more facts out there for people to see and really process is where we need to be,” Beshear told reporters.
How are the Louisville authorities reacting?
A state of emergency was declared in Louisville on Tuesday and protests are expected. The National Guard was also deployed.
Mayor Greg Fischer has set a curfew in the city from 9:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., which will remain in place for the next 72 hours. He previously said he had declared a state of emergency “because of possible unrest”.
Police have blocked traffic on certain streets where protests have prevailed and barricades have been erected around the city center.
Demonstrations over the death of Ms. Taylor have been held in the city for more than 100 consecutive days.
The National Guard’s operation has been criticized because one of its troops fatally shot and killed a black restaurant owner, David McAtee, when authorities dispersed Black Lives Matter protesters in June.
The police department said their officers came under fire while trying to evacuate the area. The city police chief was fired after it was determined that the local officers had not activated their body cameras.
What happened to Ms. Taylor?
Just after midnight on Friday, March 13, she was in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, when they heard a knock on the door.
Plain clothes Louisville police raided a narcotic drug and used a battering ram to enter the property.
A judge issued an arrest warrant to search Ms. Taylor’s home because investigators suspected that a convicted drug dealer – her ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover – was using the address to get packages. She had no criminal record.
Mr. Walker, a licensed gun owner, later told police he thought the night intruder was Glover, according to the New York Times.
According to official sources, Mr. Walker’s bullet struck a police officer, Jonathan Mattingly, in the leg – an injury for which he later had to undergo surgery.
According to an FBI ballistic report, the three officers returned fire and released 32 rounds.
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Ms. Taylor, who got out of bed in the midst of the commotion, was shot and died in the hallway.
According to an arrest report, the officers had received an arrest warrant that allowed them to enter the property without warning.
But Mr Cameron said Wednesday the officers had not actually served such an arrest warrant. The attorney general said the officials’ statements that they identified themselves “are confirmed by an independent witness”.
Some neighbors told local media they did not announce the officers.
No drugs were found on the property, although Jefferson County Attorney Thomas Wine previously said the search was abandoned after the shooting.
The police report below contained errors, including listing Ms. Taylor’s injuries as “none” and stating that no force was used to kick in if a battering ram was used.
Mr. Walker was originally charged with attempted murder and assault on a police officer, but the case against him was dropped in May due to national control of the case.
From left: Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove
What about the officers?
Mr. Hankison was fired from the Louisville Subway Police Department in June after investigators found that he had “deliberately and blindly fired 10 rounds” during the robbery, according to his resignation letter.
Mr. Mattingly and Mr. Cosgrove were assigned administrative duties.
The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that six officers are under internal police review because of their roles in the shooting.
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Mr Mattingly wrote an email to more than 1,000 colleagues on Saturday criticizing city guides and protesters.
“Regardless of today’s or Wednesday outcome, I know that we did the legal, moral and ethical that night,” he wrote in the news item released by the media on Tuesday.
“It is sad how the good are demonized and the criminals canonized.”
“Your civil rights mean nothing,” he added, “but the criminal has complete autonomy.”
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