Breonna Taylor: Two officers shot throughout Louisville protests
Anger broke out after the grand jury’s decision
Two police officers were shot dead during protests in the United States because they decided not to charge any officers with the murder of Breonna Taylor.
Ms. Taylor, 26, a black hospital worker, was shot and killed several times when three officers raided her home on March 13.
A grand jury in the city of Louisville sued one of the officers with “willful endangerment” for gunfire targeting a neighbor’s home.
The attorney general said the actions of the other two officers were justified.
One of the officers was hit by a shot by Ms. Taylor’s friend, who later told police he thought it was Ms. Taylor’s ex-boyfriend who broke into the apartment.
Cases of police killings of unarmed black people have fueled anger in the US and beyond, particularly triggered by the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in May.
Robert Schroeder, Louisville police chief, said the police officers shot Wednesday did not suffer any life-threatening injuries. A suspect is in custody, he added.
A state of emergency was declared in Louisville and the National Guard was also deployed.
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Mayor Greg Fischer has put a three-day curfew in the city from 21: 00-06: 30 (01: 00-10: 30 GMT). He previously said he had declared a state of emergency “because of possible unrest”.
Despite the curfew, crowds were still gathered after 9:00 p.m. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear urged protesters to go home.
“We know the answer to violence is never violence, and tonight we think of these two officers and their families. So I ask everyone, please go home. Go home tonight,” he said.
Protests against the grand jury’s decision also took place in New York, Washington, Atlanta and Chicago.
Taylor, a paramedic, was 26 years old when she died
What did the prosecutor say?
Kentucky law states that a person is guilty of willful harm if he or she commits an act which shows “an extreme indifference to the worth of human life.”
This lowest level crime may carry a five-year prison sentence for each count. Officer Brett Hankison has been charged on three counts.
Ms. Taylor’s relatives and activists, for whom her death has become a rallying call, had called for the three white officers to be charged with murder or manslaughter.
However, this was rejected by a grand jury who examined the evidence.
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Media signatureKentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron presented the decision to the grand jury
On Wednesday, Judge Annie O’Connell announced the charges against Mr. Hankison.
Kentucky Attorney General Mr. Cameron then held a press conference expanding the ruling. “This is a terrible emotional case,” he said.
“There is nothing I can offer you today to alleviate the grief and grief caused by the loss of a child, niece, sister and friend,” he added in a message to Ms. Taylor’s family.
Mr Cameron said a ballistic report found six bullets hit Ms. Taylor, but only one was fatal.
This analysis revealed that Detective Myles Cosgrove had fired the shot that killed Ms. Taylor.
The attorney general said it was not clear if Mr. Hankison’s shots hit Ms. Taylor, but they struck an adjacent apartment.
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Media signatureProtesters march in Louisville following the grand jury’s decision
The chief prosecutor said the other two officers – Jonathan Mattingly and Mr Cosgrove – were “entitled to protect themselves and the justification prevents us from prosecuting criminal charges”.
Mr. Cameron, a Republican who is the state’s first black attorney general, added, “If we only respond to emotion or outrage, there is no justice.
“Mob justice is not justice. Justice sought by violence is not justice. It only becomes revenge.”
He added that the FBI is still investigating possible violations of federal law in the case.
The National Guard was deployed in Louisville prior to the announcement
What’s the reaction
Ben Crump, a noted Taylor family lawyer, said the result was “outrageous and offensive”.
Officials earlier that month agreed to pay her family $ 12 million (£ 9.3 million) in a settlement.
When asked about his reaction to the decision, Trump said at a press conference at the White House, “I thought it was really brilliant.”
He praised Kentucky’s attorney general, who addressed the Republican Convention last month, for “doing a fantastic job.”
“I think he’s a star,” he said, adding that he endorsed the Kentucky governor’s decision to send the National Guard.
Governor Andy Beshear, a Democrat, urged the Kentucky Attorney General to release the evidence presented to the grand jury.
“I think having more facts out there for people to see and really process is where we need to be,” Beshear told reporters.
What happened to Ms. Taylor?
Just after midnight on Friday, March 13, she was in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, when they heard a knock on the door.
Plain clothes Louisville police raided a narcotic drug and used a battering ram to enter the property.
A judge issued an arrest warrant to search Ms. Taylor’s home because investigators suspected that a convicted drug dealer – her ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover – was using the address to get packages. She had no criminal record.
Mr. Walker fired a shot from his licensed gun and later told police that he believed Glover had broken in, according to the New York Times.
According to official sources, Mr. Walker’s bullet struck a police officer, Jonathan Mattingly, in the leg – an injury for which he later had to undergo surgery.
According to an FBI ballistic report, the three officers returned fire and released 32 rounds.
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Ms. Taylor, who got out of bed in the midst of the commotion, was shot and died in the hallway.
According to an arrest report, the officers had received an arrest warrant that allowed them to enter the property without warning.
But Mr Cameron said Wednesday the officers had not actually served such an arrest warrant. The attorney general said the officials’ statements that they identified themselves “are confirmed by an independent witness”.
Some neighbors told local media they did not announce the officers.
No drugs were found on the property, although Jefferson County Attorney Thomas Wine previously said the search was abandoned after the shooting.
The police report below contained errors, including listing Ms. Taylor’s injuries as “none” and stating that no force was used to kick in if a battering ram was used.
Mr. Walker was originally charged with attempted murder and assault on a police officer, but the case against him was dropped in May due to national control of the case.
From left: Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove
What about the officers?
Mr. Hankison was fired from the Louisville Subway Police Department in June after investigators found that he had “deliberately and blindly fired 10 rounds” during the robbery, according to his resignation letter.
Mr. Mattingly and Mr. Cosgrove were assigned administrative duties.
The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that six officers are under internal police review because of their roles in the shooting.
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Mr Mattingly wrote an email to more than 1,000 colleagues on Saturday criticizing city guides and protesters.
“Regardless of today’s or Wednesday outcome, I know that we did the legal, moral and ethical that night,” he wrote in the news item released by the media on Tuesday.
“It is sad how the good are demonized and the criminals canonized.”
“Your civil rights mean nothing,” he added, “but the criminal has complete autonomy.”