On Wednesday (Sept. 23), the Kentucky Attorney General revealed that a grand jury failed to indict all three officers involved in the murder of Breonna Taylor and giving just once officer a far lesser charge.
One of the cops, Brett Hankison, was indicted. But for the charge of first-degree wanton endangerment, something that sounds like all he did was make a little boo-boo in murdering a Black woman in her sleep.
As reported by CNN, Hankison was the lone officer charged among two others facing charges stemming from the fateful night that left the 26-year-old Taylor shot dead this past March. Sgt. John Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove managed to avoid justice after Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron told a media throng that the cops were “justified of their use of force” due to Taylor’s boyfriend firing at them first.
“The decision before my office is not to decide if the loss of Breonna Taylor’s life was a tragedy,” Cameron stated. “The answer to that question is unequivocally, yes.”
The city of Louisville, seemingly anticipating demonstrations and outrage from protestors already on the ground, saw businesses boarding up their stores as they brace for an impending onslaught.
Via Twitter, the ACLU of Kentucky issued a pointed statement on its account regarding today’s decision.
“Only 1 of the 3 officers who killed Breonna Taylor has been charged with a crime. None of the charges are related to her death. Once again, the state has denied that Black lives matter by failing to hold law enforcement accountable,” read one portion of the statment.
ACLU KY continued with, “Today’s announcement comes more than six months after Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville police officers in her own home. No officers were charged directly in her death.”
On Twitter, the disappointment from observers mirrored that of Taylor’s family who hoped that their loved one’s death would be legally avenged to no avail. We’ve looked at some of the reactions on the social media network and listed them out below.
This long-broken justice system continues to reveal how it “serves and protects” those in power, not the people & taxpayers that it continuously victimizes while claiming to protect. This ruling regarding the murder of Breonna Taylor is just the latest example. Absolute bullshit.— Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) September 23, 2020
I see the system won’t fight for you, so WE gotta fight for you 🙏🏾#BreonnaTaylor— Sean Don (@BigSean) September 23, 2020
“You are beautiful.”— raf (@rafaelshimunov) September 23, 2020
“We love you.”
“We are here protecting you.”
Breonna Taylor activist says to children stepping out of their homes to witness march in Louisville.
They literally did the opposite of “say her name”. After investigating the killing of Breonna Taylor for 6 months, here is the 2-page indictment that was rendered against one officer for wanton endangerment. The indictment makes no explicit mention of her name #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/Vl90sxnhhA— Ayman Mohyeldin (@AymanM) September 23, 2020
Black faces in high places do not get a pass. We can’t allow McConnell’s former lawyer to misrepresent the function of a grand jury & pretend he doesn’t have authority as AG to bring charges against the officers who killed Breonna Taylor.— Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II (@RevDrBarber) September 23, 2020
My thoughts are with the family and loved ones of Breonna Taylor today. Her loss remains immeasurable, and the continued lack of justice for her murder is inexcusable.— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) September 23, 2020
We owe it to her memory to demand a justice system that recognizes #BlackLivesMatter once and for all. 1/3
How can the Breonna Taylor grand jury reach its result? Because the officers who directly returned fire were operating under a series of SCOTUS precedents that made clashes between armed homeowners 1) lawful; 2) inevitable; and 3) unjust (short thread): https://t.co/1bLltoRLXF— David French (@DavidAFrench) September 23, 2020
2 of the 3 officers who ended Breonna Taylor’s life will face no charges. 1 might get a slap on the wrist. The justice system is beyond broken – for Black people it never worked in the first place. It’s time to vote for transformative change. #SayHerName https://t.co/H1GJI7aAt5— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) September 23, 2020
Breonna Taylor’s killers are getting charged for putting OTHER people at risk and damaging property, not because they murdered her while she was sleeping. there’s nothing moral/legal about that and the fact that the issue isn’t being spoken about ?? don’t gloss over this— y/n⁷ is ia (@simpyn_) September 23, 2020
Contrast the state’s attitude toward Breonna Taylor, who was *suspected* of involvement in street-level drug trafficking, with its attitude toward the bankers, when evidence exists tying them directly to multi-national drug cartels. https://t.co/JQZJZY90l5— Jeffrey We Voted Out That Gameshow Clown Wright (@jfreewright) September 23, 2020
So they charged one officer with shooting into the neighbouring apartment of Breonna Taylor but NOT for actually killing Breonna?— dvsn ÷ (@dvsn) September 23, 2020
This the Most disrespectful outcome.
Did I hear that correctly? Only one officer is being held remotely accountable and it's not for killing #BreonnaTaylor but instead for shooting apartments? It's never been clearer that this country considers property more valuable than Black life. https://t.co/um5E19D1pj— Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) September 23, 2020
To be VERY CLEAR:— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) September 23, 2020
NO POLICE OFFICERS were charged with the murder of #BreonnaTaylor.
Breonna Taylor had nothing to do with even the frivolous indictment.
Ponder on that. Miscarriage of justice.
This is another example of how our broken, racist justice system doesn't value Black lives.— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) September 23, 2020
Breonna Taylor deserves better than this. We won't give up until there is true justice. https://t.co/0ri1JnT0YM
Right now, Black parents all around our country are having another version of 'the talk'. They’re having to explain to their children that despite the broken and inhumane system, that their lives do matter. Tonight, I am praying for each of us and our nation. #BreonnaTaylor— Martin Luther King III (@OfficialMLK3) September 23, 2020
And the gag is, every single person that used Breonna Taylor’s name, image and body for a campaign, a magazine, a sale promoted and committed the same anti-Blackness we’re fighting against. Shame on every single one of you. I hope the guilt never leaves you.— simi (@simimoonlight) September 23, 2020
What happened today was not justice. Financial compensation won’t change that. One fall guy won’t change that. Breonna was murdered. Every one of the officers involved should be prosecuted for THAT crime.— sa-roc (@sarocthemc) September 23, 2020
justice for Breonna Taylor. pic.twitter.com/0bkEuVg732