A white police officer was charged with endangering the lives of others on Wednesday in Louisville, Ky., Following the death of African-American Breonna Taylor, who was killed in her home in March during a controversial search. This decision is criticized by his family and the protesters against police violence, who see it as “a denial of justice”.
Brett Hankison, one of the three agents involved in the case of the murder of Breonna Taylor, was charged on Wednesday (September 23). He is charged with endangering the lives of others, a criminal charge during murder. He had already been fired from the police in June. The man was to be detained and his bail set at $ 15,000.
Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old nurse, was killed in the middle of the night in her home on March 13 when the three police officers showed up with a so-called “no knock” arrest warrant, which allows them to enter. with a suspect without notifying himself.
When they arrived, his comrade had opened fire with a legally owned weapon. The officers responded and Breonna Taylor was shot several times. His companions then declared that he believed in a burglary, the agents had not notified themselves. They claim to have presented themselves before entering, a version confirmed by a witness, according to state prosecutor Daniel Cameron.
>> To read: The Breonna Taylor case, the second case of police violence shaking the United States
The agent fired ten bullets, several of which ended his course in the apartment next to Breonna Taylor, and “put three people (present) in this apartment at serious risk of physical injury or death,” said Daniel Cameron.
His two colleagues, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, who had been fired, were fired for firing in self-defense.
“NOTHING ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED” with Breonna Taylor
“Under Kentucky law, the use of force (by officers) Mattingly and Cosgrove was justified in protecting themselves. This justification prevents us from prosecuting them for Breonna Taylor’s death,” the prosecutor said.
The young woman’s lawyer, Ben Crump, condemned on Twitter a decision as “scandalous and insulting”. The ex-policeman “was charged with three life-threatening charges. These three charges are for bullets that ended up in other apartments but NOTHING for what happened” to Breonna Taylor, he wrote.
Jefferson County Grand Jury anger form ofc. Brett Hankison with 3 Bills of Wanton Endangerment in 1st Degree for bullets going into other apartments but NOTHING for the murder of Breonna Taylor. This is outrageous and offensive! pic.twitter.com/EarmBAhhuf
– Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) September 23, 2020
This decision is “a gross denial of justice,” the Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Colored Minorities NAACP commented. The powerful civic organization ACLU condemned “the maintenance of order and a rotten criminal justice system”.
Breonna Taylor’s death did not get much attention at first, but it has come to the fore as part of the major anti-racist protests that have swept across the United States since George Floyd, a Black Forty, was strangled by a white Minneapolis police officer in late May.
“A difficult discussion” with Breonna Taylor’s family
Since then, protesters in Louisville have regularly condemned police brutality against the black minority. An important security system was in place in the city center on Wednesday for fear of protests that could degenerate.
The municipality, which urged the population to calm down, declared a state of emergency and blocked access to the court, which was protected by plywood.
“I know that these accusations made today will not satisfy everyone,” prosecutor Cameron acknowledged, acknowledging that he had “had a difficult discussion” with the Breonna Taylor family. He urged those demonstrating in the streets “to remember that peaceful marches” were not their “right as American citizens to cause violence and destruction”.
“To seek justice by force is not to deliver justice, it is revenge,” he said.