One of the three officers involved in the drug operation that led to the death of Breonna Taylor in March was indicted Wednesday.
Officer Brett Hankison, who was fired in June, was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree, a Jefferson County grand jury decided Wednesday. Neither the grand jury nor the presiding judge elaborated on the charges. A warrant was issued for Hankison’s arrest and he was booked and released on $15,000 bail, according to local reports.
No charges were announced against the two other officers involved in the raid—Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Johnathan Mattingly, who was shot in the leg and underwent surgery after the police operation that resulted in Taylor’s death. The grand jury’s decision prompted hundreds of protesters to turn out in Louisville, Ky., and Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear said he was authorizing the deployment of the state’s National Guard in the city, albeit in a limited capacity aimed at protecting infrastructure and not facing crowds of demonstrators (FOX).
Hankinson faces up to five years on each of three counts if convicted, Cameron said. “The decision before my office as the special prosecutor, in this case, was not to decide if the loss of Ms. Taylor’s life was a tragedy. The answer to that is unequivocally, ‘yes,'” Cameron said. “I understand that Breonna Taylor’s death is part of a national story, but the facts and evidence in this case are different than others… “If we simply act on emotion or outrage, there is no justice,” Cameron said. “Mob justice is not justice. Justice sought by violence is not justice. It just becomes revenge.”
“According to Kentucky law, the use of force by Mattingly and Cosgrove was justified to protect themselves. This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Miss Breonna Taylor’s death,” Cameron said. Hankison is accused of “blindly” firing his gun, without a threat within line of sight, according to a pre-termination letter the police department sent to him in June (CNN).
ARTICLE: CHAD LATTANZIO
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: KING5