A little after midnight on March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor was asleep in her bed when a gang of Louisville, Kentucky, police officers rammed her door and began shooting into her home, striking her eight times and killing her. The 25-year-old EMT died on the floor of the hallway in her home.
Last week, the city of Louisville reached a $12 million settlement with Taylor’s family for her wrongful death. On Wednesday, Sept. 23, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Annie O'Connell read a grand jury indictment of only one officer, on three counts of 1st degree wanton endangerment with "extreme indifference." The charges carry a one- to five-year maximum sentence but could also result in probation. To be clear, this charge is not related to the killing of Breonna Taylor: It is about the adjacent apartments that were also sprayed with bullets as these four hoodlum officers shot haphazardly into an innocent person’s home.
According to reporter Tessa Duvall, “Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear calls on Attorney General Daniel Cameron to release all the facts and information he can about the Breonna Taylor case online. He says Kentuckians should be able to see the facts for themselves.”
Former Officer Brett Hankinson was the only officer charged even though Sgt. Jon Mattingly and officer Myles Cosgrove also reportedly shot into Taylor’s home the night she was killed. After Taylor was shot and lay dying, she received very little help from the officers, and what help she did receive from police was far too late.
The Louisville police and attorney general’s offices have been dragging their heels on responding to the death of Breonna Taylor for some time. Her story, and pressure on law enforcement to do anything about this tragic injustice, came entirely from outside the city and state’s apparatus.
A month ago it was revealed that prosecutors were trying to cut a plea deal with Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend that would have implicated Taylor as some kind of a criminal, though there is no evidence to support that. So it is not a shock that racism and systemic injustice has seemingly won out again. Investigators said there was no body camera footage of the raid, only camera footage from law enforcement who arrived at the scene after the shooting.
Once again, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly was not indicted, nor was Detective Myles Cosgrove. Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove were determined to have been “justified in their use of force.” The indictment against Brett Hankinson seems to be related to how he sprayed his gun not simply into Breonna Taylor’s apartment, but into other apartments.
The judge set the cash bond for Hankinson at $15,000, less than the cost of a moderate-priced new car.
The announcement begins around the 24-minute mark.