Grand jury clears three cops of killing Breonna Taylor and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron defended the jury by saying that ‘law is not meant to react to tragedy’.
The grand jury chose to indict one of the officers, Brett Hankison on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for shooting into a neighboring apartment during the incident, not Taylor’s death.
Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove who were also present at the scene and involved in the shooting were not indicted.
Daniel Cameron, the state’s first black Attorney General said the officers were not charged for murdering Breonna Taylor because they acted in self-defense after Taylor’s boyfriend fired at them first.
He said that ‘I certainly understand the pain that has been brought about by the tragic loss of Miss Taylor. I understand that as an attorney general and I understand that as a black man.’ He added that criminal law is not meant to respond to every sorrow and grief, but his heart breaks for the tragic loss of Ms. Taylor.
And while in the conference, he stated that If we simply act on emotion or outrage then there is no justice, mob justice is not justice. Justice by violence is not justice but revenge.
On Wednesday, after the verdict, Attorney General Cameron discussed the outcome of his four-month investigation. Investigators believe that Cosgrove shot the fire that took Taylor’s life.
Breonna Taylor was shot six times after three police officers barged into her apartment acting on a search warrant for a drug investigation. When the officers barged in her boyfriend Kenneth Walker opened fire. Walker was charged with the attempted murder of the officer, but later the charges were dropped by the prosecutors.
According to the walker, he heard the knocking but didn’t know who was coming at that time of the night because they had not identified themselves as police, and he fired the gun in self-defense.
Attorney-General said that officer Cosgrove and Mattingly were not charged as their actions were justified because Kenneth Walker opened fire. He added that according to the Kentucky law the use of force by the officers was justified to protect themselves and this justification is stopping to pursue criminal charges in Miss Breonna Taylor’s death. He also stated that those officers did not take part in obtaining the search warrant.
While discussing the investigation, he said that the officers knocked on the door and when they didn’t get any answers they breached the door.
Officer Mattingly entered first and saw Taylor and Walker, who was pointing a gun at the end.Walker fired first injuring Mattingly in the thigh, then he returned fire and then the other two officers joined in an open fire, according to the investigators, Hankison fired 10 bullets.
Six bullets hit Taylor though there is no evidence that any bullet that hit her came from Hankison’s gun, but bullets fired by him traveled into a neighboring apartment.
Officer Brett Hankison was fired by the Louisville Metro Police Department in June after violating the policy by blindly firing a gun during the raid, and the FBI is still investigating the case for potential violation of federal law.
The verdict drew immediate sadness, frustration, and anger because the wanton endangerment charges each carry a sentence of up to five years and protestors started marching through the streets of Louisville, where Taylor was killed, shouting ‘No justice, no peace.’
Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Taylor’s family called the decision as outrageous and offensive.