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Kentucky grand jury will not charge officers for killing of Breonna Taylor

One officer, who was previously fired, will face charges of ‘wanton endangerment’

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Police and protesters converge during a demonstration, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. A grand jury has indicted one officer on criminal charges six months after Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by police in Kentucky. The jury presented its decision against fired officer Brett Hankison Wednesday to a judge in Louisville, where the shooting took place.

Police and protesters converge during a demonstration, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. A grand jury has indicted one officer on criminal charges six months after Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by police in Kentucky. The jury presented its decision against fired officer Brett Hankison Wednesday to a judge in Louisville, where the shooting took place.

Associated Press

A Kentucky grand jury did not bring any charges Wednesday against police officers for the killing of Breonna Taylor. One former officer will face three counts of wanton endangerment. Hours after the decision, two officers were shot and wounded during the demonstrations, according to The Associated Press.

  • Taylor was killed during a “drug raid gone wrong,” according to The Associated Press.
  • Prosecutors said the two officers who fired their weapons at Taylor were justified in using force to protect themselves, the AP reports
  • Ben Crump, a lawyer for Taylor’s family, said the decision was “outrageous and offensive.”
  • Attorney General Daniel Cameron said officers were acting in self-defense after being fired at by Taylor’s boyfriend: “Criminal law is not meant to respond to every sorrow and grief,” Cameron said. “But my heart breaks for the loss of Miss Taylor. And I’ve said that repeatedly. My mother, if something was to happen to me, would find it very hard.”

The grand jury indicted Brett Hankison, who was fired in June, on three counts of “wanton endangerment,” saying he fired bullets that endangered neighbors, according to The New York Times.

Taylor, a Black woman who was an emergency medical worker, has become the face of a national movement against racial injustice.

Protesters erupted in anger Wednesday after the decision, The New York Times reports.

  • Police already arrested protesters in Louisville, which has a 9 p.m. curfew tonight.
  • Other cities across the nation are preparing for protesters and demonstrations, too, according to The New York Times.
  • A suspect accused of shooting two police officers was in custody, according to The Associated Press. Interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder did not say whether that person was participating in the demonstrations.
  • Both officers are expected to recover, and one is undergoing surgery.

Public figures — including Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell — reacted to the shooting.

“I don’t have many words right now.... but all I can say is I’m praying for the city of Louisville right now!!!” Mitchell tweeted.

Earlier this month, Louisville agreed to pay $12 million to Taylor’s family.

“Please continue to say her name,” said Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, according to the Associated Press.

“We must not lose focus on what the real job is, and with that being said, it’s time to move forward with the criminal charges, because she deserves that and much more,” Palmer said. “As significant as today is, it’s only the beginning of getting full justice for Breonna.”