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Grand jury indicts 1 officer in Breonna Taylor killing, but not for her death

The other 2 officers are not facing charges
Kentucky attorney general to announce decision in Breonna Taylor case Wednesday
Kentucky attorney general to announce decision in Breonna Taylor case Wednesday
Kentucky attorney general to announce decision in Breonna Taylor case Wednesday
Kentucky attorney general to announce decision in Breonna Taylor case Wednesday
Kentucky attorney general to announce decision in Breonna Taylor case Wednesday
Posted at 9:34 AM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 20:02:31-04

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A grand jury announced Wednesday that none of the three officers involved in the police killing of Breonna Taylor will be indicted on homicide charges, including murder or manslaughter.

Instead, one of the officers, Brett Hankison, is being charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for firing into the apartments of Taylor's neighbors. The class D felony is punishable of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Hankison's bail is set at $15,000 cash bond.

Kentucky law says, “a person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person.”

The other two officers involved in the shooting, Jon Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, are not facing charges.

During a press conference, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the state could not pursue charges against Mattingly and Cosgrove, because their use of force was “justified to protect themselves” after being fired upon by Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

“This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Miss Breonna Taylor’s death,” said Cameron.

Cameron also said a witness corroborated officers' claims that they announced themselves prior to entering Taylor's apartment, where they shot and killed the 26-year-old EMT.

Cameron said it was "difficult" to inform Taylor's family about the grand jury's decision.

"It's been a difficult day. It's a very difficult day for Louisville, the entire commonwealth and the whole country," said Cameron.

Cameron expressed his condolences to Taylor's family.

“Every day this family wakes up to the realization that someone they loved is no longer with them," he said. "There’s nothing I can offer today to take away the grief and heartache this family is experiencing as a result of losing a child, a niece, a sister and a friend.”

With protests expected following the charging decision, Cameron is urging demonstrators to remain peaceful in the coming days. He says peaceful protest is part of their rights as Americans, but “instigating violence and destruction are not.”

The attorney general also said he is commissioning a task force to review the search warrant process in Kentucky.

Watch the attorney general discuss the charges:

Protests begin shortly after charging decision revealed

Quickly after it was announced that no officers would be charged with murder or manslaughter, protesters took to the streets of Louisville, calling for justice for Taylor.

Watch the demonstrations below:

The city has been preparing for such protests over the past several days. Before the charging decision was announced, Mayor Greg Fischer signed two executive orders.

One order declared a state of emergency due to the potential for civil unrest. The other restricts access to downtown parking garages and bans on-street parking in order to provide an extra layer of security for protests in and around Jefferson Park, where many protests over the case have taken place.

The mayor has also set a curfew in the city from 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. ET.

Watch the mayor discuss what the city has done to prepare for protests:

What we know about the Breonna Taylor case

Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville police officers who served a no-knock search warrant at her home in the early morning hours of March 13.

During the incident, Taylor’s boyfriend has said that he thought the plainclothes officers were intruders and fired a warning shot. The officers returned fire, shooting Taylor several times, and she died in the hallway of her apartment.

In June, the Louisville Metro Police Department fired one of the officers involved, Brett Hankison, saying he violated procedures by showing "extreme indifference to the value of human life." The other two officers involved in the case, Jon Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, have been placed on administrative reassignment, WLEX reports.

Protesters across the state have said these actions are not enough and have continuously called for the arrest of the officers involved in Taylor's shooting.

Taylor is one of a handful of African Americans who have died at the hands of police officers or former police officers in 2020. The killings prompted massive protests calling for an end to police brutality across the country.

Jordan Mickle at WLEX contributed to this report.