A grand jury has decided to indict one officer involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, more than six months after the EMT was shot to death by Lousiville police officers in her home. The case has sparked global attention as numerous calls have been made to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to charge the officers.
Officer Brett Hankison, who was dismissed by the Louisville Police Department earlier this year, was indicted on three counts of 1st-degree wanton endangerment. Bond has been set at $15,000 full cash and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. The two other officers involved, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, will not be charged.
If convicted, Hankison faces up to 5 years in prison.
What is Wanton Endangerment?
Wanton Endangerment in the first degree is considered a Class D Felony and is determined by an individual exhibiting extreme indifference to the value of human life, who wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person.
Hankison was fired in June for “wantonly and blindly” firing into Taylor’s apartment from an outdoor patio, according to the Lousiville chief of police. Six other officers involved in the incident are under investigation. The wanton endangerment charge is in line with Hankison allegedly endangering others who lived near Taylor.
On March 13, officers conducted a no-knock warrant on Taylor’s apartment, believing that her ex-boyfriend had been stashing drugs there. No drugs were found on the premises. Taylor was sleeping next to her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker III when they heard a noise and headed for the door.
Walker told investigators that he heard banging at the door and believed it was Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, causing trouble. He went and grabbed his gun. As they continued down the hall, the door was rammed in and Walker fired a shot. The bullet hit Mattingly in the leg. From there, the officers discharged their weapons, shooting more than 40 times.
“In total, six bullets struck Ms. Taylor,” Cameron said during a press conference on Wednesday. “Some bullets traveled through [Taylor’s apartment] and through another apartment where three residents were at home, including a male, a pregnant female, and a child. Thre’s no conclusive evidence that the bullets fired from Det. Hankison struck Ms. Taylor. The FBI ballistics analysis concluded that the fatal shot was fired by Det. Cosgrove.”
Cameron added, “Our investigation found Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their use of force after being fired upon by Kenneth Walker.”
This is a developing story.
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