Washington, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- A grand jury in Kentucky declined to indict any of the three Louisville police officers involved in the fatal shooting of the Breonna Taylor on homicide charges, the state’s attorney general said Wednesday.
Brett Hankison, who was fired in June for his conduct during the deadly March 13 incident, faces three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots into other apartments in the building where the 26-year-old Black paramedic and aspiring nurse resided.
Neither of the other two officers who discharged their weapons, Sgt. John Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove, was charged with any offense.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Wednesday at a press conference that the police were “justified in their use of force” because they were returning fire after Taylor’s boyfriend, a licensed gun-owner, shot at the cops in the belief that they were intruders.
The boyfriend, Kenneth Walker III, said afterward that he and Taylor were awakened by pounding on their door and that they received no reply to their repeated shouts of “who is it?”
But according to Cameron, a witness told the grand jury that the officers did identify themselves as police.
The raid on Taylor’s apartment that was a part of a narcotics investigation targeting her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover.
While police said they suspected Glover had stashed drugs and cash in the apartment, the search turned up nothing.
“The decision before my office is not to decide if the loss of Breonna Taylor’s life was a tragedy. The answer to that question is unequivocally yes,” Cameron told reporters after what he described as a “difficult” conversation with Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer.
“Our job is to present the facts to the grand jury, and the grand jury then applies the facts,” the attorney general said. “If we simply act on outrage, there is no justice. Mob justice is not justice. Justice sought by violence is not justice. It just becomes revenge.”
Protests began on the streets of Louisville within minutes of Cameron’s announcement and CNN aired images of confrontations between demonstrators and police.
One of the attorneys representing Taylor’s family, Benjamin Crump, blasted the grand jury’s decision as “outrageous and offensive!”
Last week, the city of Louisville said that it would pay $12 million to Taylor’s family and institute police reforms to settle a wrongful death lawsuit.
Taylor’s killing immediately gave rise to protests in Louisville, but came to national and international attention in the course of the demonstrations across the United States following the May 25 death at police hands of George Floyd, which re-energized the Black Lives Matter movement that emerged in 2014 after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown.
The Louisville city government declared a state of emergency ahead of Cameron’s announcement on Wednesday and has imposed a 9.00 pm curfew for the three nights. EFE