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Grand Jury Indict Police Officer On Wanton Endangerment Charges In Breonna Taylor's Death

Grand Jury Indict Police Officer On Wanton Endangerment Charges In Breonna Taylor's Death

A grand jury has indicted one officer on criminal charges, six months after Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky.

The jury presented its decision against officer Brett Hankison to a judge in Louisville today.

Hankison was indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.

According to WSLS, if convicted, each charge carries a prison sentence of one to five years.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, the two other officers who discharged their weapons during the incident, have not been charged.

Taylor, a hospital emergency room technician, was shot multiple times when officers burst into her home on 13 March during a narcotics investigation.

She had been in bed with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker when they heard banging on the door.

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A warrant had been granted to search the home as investigators suspected her ex-boyfriend, a convicted drug dealer - was using her address to receive packages.

Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. Credit: Louisville Police Department
Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. Credit: Louisville Police Department

Taylor, however, had no criminal record, and during the raid, no drugs were found at her property.

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The 26-year-old's death sparked a wave of protests across the world, as people demanded justice not only for her, but also countless others who have been killed by police in recent months.

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While Hankinson was fired from the force in June after investigators found he had 'wantonly and blindly fired 10 rounds' into the home, Mattingly and Cosgrove were reassigned to administrative duties.

In May, Taylor's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, which concluded in September with a $12m (£9.3m) pay-out from the city.

Tamika Palmer, mother of Breonna Taylor, addressing the media in Louisville in August. Credit: PA
Tamika Palmer, mother of Breonna Taylor, addressing the media in Louisville in August. Credit: PA

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is expected to announce whether his office will bring charges, but it is not yet known when this will be.

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On Tuesday, Mayor Greg Fischer placed Louisville under a state of emergency as the city waited to find out whether or not Hankinson would be charged.

Fischer said he had declared the measure 'due to the potential for civil unrest', noting how protests have been held for over 100 consecutive days in Louisville.

He said on Twitter: "Our goal is ensuring space and opportunity for potential protesters to gather and express their First Amendment rights after the announcement.

"At the same time, we are preparing for any eventuality to keep everyone safe."

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Fischer added: "I urge everyone to commit once again to a peaceful, lawful response, like we've seen here for the majority of the past several months."

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Topics: News, US News

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Jess Hardiman

Jess is a journalist at LADbible who graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Film Studies, English Language and Linguistics - indecisiveness at its finest, right there. She also works for FOODbible and its sister page Seitanists, which are both a safe haven for her to channel a love for homemade pasta, fennel and everything else in between. You can contact Jess at [email protected]