Former Louisville police officer, Brett Hankison, has been indicted by a grand jury on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree in connection with the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor. A $15,000 cash bond has been attached to the charges.
During a press conference Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 23) Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron walked the media through the investigation after the charges were announced.
The other two officers, Sgt. John Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove, were not charged.
Though Taylor wasn’t the main target of the officer’s investigation that fateful night on March 13, police had obtained a warrant for her apartment based on her connections to Kenneth Walker, an alleged drug dealer. No drugs were found at Taylor’s apartment.
“After hearing the evidence from our team of prosecutors, the grand jury voted to return an indictment against Detective Hankinson for three counts of wanton endangerment for wantonly placing the three individuals in apartment 3 in danger of serious physical injury or death,” said Cameron during the press conference. “Charge 1 endangerment in the first degree is a Class D felony, and if found guilty, the accused can serve up to five years for each count.”
The 26-year-old EMT was home with Walker on March 13 when police arrived. Since bodycam footage was not rolling during the tragic incident, whether officers identified themselves as law enforcement officers is disputed.
Cameron also took aim at protesters who overwhelmingly believe all three officers involved in Taylor’s death should be indicted.
"If we simply act on emotion or outrage, there is no justice. Mob justice is not justice. Justice sought by violence is not justice,” he said. “It just becomes revenge and in our system, criminal justice isn’t the quest for revenge."
As police broke the door down, Walker, a licensed gun owner, fired a shot and hit one of the officers in the leg. Three officers responded with gunfire, hitting Taylor five times and killing her.
On September 10, Greg Fischer, Louisville’s mayor, issued a public apology to Taylor’s family, admitting the “mistakes” he and his police department made surrounding Breonna’s death and the subsequent aftermath. He also said he and his team are working to “address the challenges we face.” The estate of Breonna Taylor will receive $12 million from the City of Louisville, which sets a precedent as the largest civil settlement in the history of the city.
BET has been covering every angle of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and other social justice cases and the subsequent aftermath and protests. For our continuing coverage, click here.