No criminal charges in killing of Taylor

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BY STACY M. BROWN
NNPA NEWS WIRE

After 194 days, months of protests, and a $12 million civil settlement, the family of Breonna Taylor did not receive the justice they have desperately sought.

On Sept. 23, a grand jury failed to indict the officers for killing Taylor, while one officer was charged with shooting into an apartment – not Taylor’s.

“They didn’t want to charge anyone with the murder of Breonna Taylor,” said Steve Romines, the attorney for Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

Officer Brett Hankinson was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment for his actions on the night of Taylor’s death.

March 13 tragedy

Hankinson was charged with shooting blindly inside an apartment and a warrant was immediately placed for his arrest. Judge Annie O’Connell set bail for Hankinson at just $15,000.

None of the six officers involved were charged with a crime.

On March 13, Taylor, 26, was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police officers after a late-night no-knock warrant led to gunfire inside of her apartment.

Taylor and Walker had watched a movie in bed and, not long after she drifted off to sleep, cops pounded on her door. Walker, according to police reports, yelled, “Who is it?”

Licensed to carry a firearm and armed with Kentucky legislation that allowed him to stand his ground and fire his weapon in self-defense, Walker responded to the late-night break-in by shooting at the officers. He called 9-11 because he didn’t know that the men were law enforcement officers, only that they appeared as intruders who knocked the door off of its hinges.

Flurry of bullets

Officers unleashed a flurry of bullets from several angles – one officer fired blindly from a window outside of the house – ultimately striking Taylor five times and killing her.

Walker’s shot struck Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the thigh.

Initially, Walker was charged with attempted murder, but those allegations were later dropped in part because he didn’t know the invaders were police officers and Kentucky’s statute essentially allows for a shoot-first-ask-questions-later when there’s an imminent threat.

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