Politics

The Police Officers Who Killed Breonna Taylor Will Face No Charges Over Her Death

Protests have again broken out over the decision.

breonna taylor

The police officers who killed Breonna Taylor after bursting into her home and opening fire will face no charges over her death.

A Kentucky grand jury has decided that Sgt John Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove were “justified in their use of force” because Taylor’s boyfriend fired at officers first after they broke down her door.

The third officer, Brett Hankison, was charged with three counts of “wanton endangerment” — because some of the shots he blindly fired went into a neighbouring apartment.

Taylor’s case has been a flashpoint for Black Lives Matter activists in the US, who are furious with the grand jury’s decision. The lawyer for Taylor’s family, Ben Crump, called it “outrageous and offensive”.

A state of emergency was declared in Louisville after the result, with Mayor Greg Fischer deploying the National Guard “due to the potential for civil unrest“. Protests began peacefully but clashes began after police moved to block people from marching down the street. Two officers have now reportedly been shot.

What Happened To Breonna?

Taylor, a hospital worker, was shot multiple times by police shortly after midnight on March 13.

She was at home with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker when plainclothes police officers used a battering ram to break down her door.

Police were actually looking for Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, who was the focus of a drugs investigation. No drugs or evidence of any other crime were found at Taylor’s apartment.

Walker later said when he heard the noise he thought her ex was trying to break in, so he grabbed his gun to defend them. When he saw the door fly off its hinges he fired off a shot, which hit an officer.

Hankison, Mattingly and Cosgrove then fired their guns, and Taylor was struck by six bullets.

Walker dialled 911 to report his girlfriend had been shot, and was then arrested and charged with attempted murder of a police officer. The charges were dismissed after an outcry.

You can read more about her case here.

What Have People Said About The Decision?

Emotions have ranged from fury to heartbreak after the announcement, with some protesters sitting on the street crying after the decision.

People are slamming the decision and criticising the system that allowed it, with celebrities including Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James and Kentucky native George Clooney speaking out.