We’re now at the anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death.
Last year, officers from Louisville Metro Police Department in plainclothes used a battering ram to gain entry into her residence without identifying who they were upon the violent entry. Former officers Myles Cosgrove, Brett Hankinson, and Jonathan Mattingly fired a barrage of bullets into her home, five of which hit and killed Taylor, who was sleeping. None of the officers were charged for her death.
What should have been an open-and-shut case is now one of the most heartbreaking to sweep the nation, leaving behind a legacy of illegal cover-ups, botched grand jury hearings, and the cry for justice from a mother who continues to seek proper closure for her daughter’s death. Yet, the FBI claims to remain dedicated to closing the case.
“On this one-year anniversary of the death of Breonna Taylor, FBI Louisville remains steadfast in its commitment to bringing this investigation to its appropriate conclusion,” says Special Agent Robert Brown from a Twitter statement. “ Even though the COVID pandemic has presented several unexpected obstacles, FBI Louisville has made significant progress in the investigation since it was initiated in May 2020. Our team is actively investigating all aspects of her death and will continue to work diligently until this investigation is completed.”
As the investigation continues, we compiled a list of major events that happened after the news of her violent
1. Breonna’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker has charges dropped…for good.
Kenneth Walker was with Breonna when LMPD three officers raided her apartment on a no-knock warrant for a drug investigation related to her ex-boyfriend. Walker believed he was protecting himself against intruders when he fired a bullet into the officers. That prompted police to spray bullets back at the couple, which ultimately led to Breonna’s death.
Walker was later charged with assault and attempted murder of a police offer. Though a judge signed a motion to dismiss them without prejudice in May of 2020, it left room for state and federal agencies to try again with new evidence.
2. Breonna’s family wins $12 million in suit against the city of Louisville, Kentucky
On the sixth month anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death, her family reached a $12 million settlement with the city of Louisville, Kentucky in a civil suit, the largest payout the city ever paid in an officer-involved shooting.
The settlement wasn’t just for money. Under the agreement, LMPD was required to launch extensive police reform throughout their department, including to “overhaul of the execution of simultaneous search warrants” and mandating “a commanding officer review and give written approval of all search warrants and SWAT matrices, documents aimed at calculating the specific dangers of a warrant location,” per Wave 3 News.
3. Attorney General Cameron Daniel is why the officers walked, allegedly.
If there’s one thing Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron proved in this case, it’s his devoted allegiance to the LMPD and the Blue Lives Matter movement. Last year in September a grand jury held proceedings to decide on the charges to officially indict the three officers involved responsible for Breonna Taylor’s death.
To the public’s dismay, they decided to charge them with wanton endangerment in the first degree for former officer Brett Hankison’s shooting into a neighboring apartment containing a man, a pregnant woman, and a child. The other two officers were not indicted.
The decision lead the jurors to clap back with their own lawsuit blaming Cameron’s unethical tactics for influencing their decision. The neighbors are also suing the department for assault, excessive force, negligence and gross negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and false imprisonment– read more here.
4. Grand jury files suit to tell the truth about AG Cameron misleading them
A total of three anonymous grand jurors stepped forward claiming Attorney General Daniel Cameron misled the public about his office’s findings related to the deadly shooting. They claimed no charges other than wanton endangerment were offered to them during the proceedings and were never explained the conditions that qualify a crime to reach homicide charges.
In other words, he bamboozled the grand jury by mischaracterizing the evidence to manipulate their decision from more serious charges. A win for LMPD and a devastating loss for Taylor’s family and public.
Two of the jurors have retained legal council in their effort to speak freely about their experience during to the the court proceedings.
5. Legislators unanimously pass “Breonna’s Law”
Breonna Taylor’s death influenced state legislators to unanimously passed a law in her namesake banning most no-knock warrants across Kentucky state. The new law requires police to wear body cameras while executing warrants and mandates officers to undergo drug testing and interviews within two hours of firing their weapons. Officers who break the rules face severe penalties including written and oral reprimands, suspension without pay, and discharge from the force.
The reform effort has inspired cities across the country to undergo reform in their own states’ legislations, too.
6. Deadly raid was part of a real estate development scheme, allegedly.
A lawsuit was filed on behalf of Breonna Taylor claiming that the investigation into he ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover was connected to an egotistical attempt for local Mayor Greg Fischer to salvage his political legacy in the city.
Apparently, there were plans to launch a real estate development project in the neighborhood which prompted them to launch evictions on residents and demolition orders on homes purchased by the city. Glover refused to leave the area, which made him a target for more aggressive approaches, hence the deadly no-knock warrant.
Three weeks after the raid at Taylor’s home, nine more homes were demolished by the city.
7. Breonna’s gruesome autopsy results
Six months after Breonna Taylor’s horrific death, officials finally revealed her autopsy report that was performed on March 14. Taylor sustained bullet wounds in her chest, which caused hemorrhaging; in her left forearm; in her left thigh and her right foot.
In an announcement following the grand jury’s shocking decision, AG Cameron claimed only one of those shots was fatal, even though former Former LMPD Det. Brett Hankison shot 10 rounds and Crosgrove 16, Jon Mattingly six during the fire exchange. How the hell did they get away with this?
8. Breonna’s mother still demanding answers from LMPD
Almost a year after Breonna Taylor’s death, mother Tamika Palmer filed complaints against the officers involved in the shooting in a neverending fight to get justice for her loss.
She claims the criminal investigation into the shooting was mishandled since no one bothered to interview key witnesses and suspects a cover-up in illegal activity that aimed to “deceive the public and disregard evidence unfavorable to the officers.”
“When you compare what was done with versus what was supposed to be done, it’s absolutely egregious,” Taylor’s attorney, Sam Aguiar said of the case and the criminal investigation. “This hopefully forces LMPD to look into the allegations, to force these officers to come in and give a statement regarding the allegations and to hear specifically why they deviated from all of these policies.” Read more here.
9. Three grand jurors file to impeach AG Daniel Cameron
The jurors want all the smoke. Last month the they filed an impeachment petition against AG Daniel Cameron for the aforementioned reasons. In response, Cameron stated he was “proud” of the work his team did and appeared unphased by the claims.
“I’m proud of the work that my team of special prosecutors did,” Cameron said. “I’m confident in the work that they did and completely understand that this process has to unfold. And I’ll allow that process to speak for itself.”
He added that, “sometimes people aren’t always going to agree with you 100 percent. And I understand that. And that is what’s so special about the democratic process that we have here.” Get him out of office!