Decision announced: One of three officers in Breonna Taylor case charged

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With the city of Louisville on edge, Jefferson County Judge Annie O’Connell announced that one of the six officers involved in the Breonna Taylor case will be charged with wanton endangerment.

Taylor, a black woman, was shot and killed by Louiseville police, who were in the process of executing a late-night, “no-knock” warrant in a narcotics investigation in March. Her boyfriend opened fire on police, shooting one officer in the leg.

Former police officer Brett Hankison has been charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing his gun into the apartment, Judge O’Connell announced on Wednesday, according to the Journal Courier.

The other officers who fired their weapons, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly, will not be charged.

The city braced for the worst possible response to the decision, which could be quite devastating, given the violent rioting seen across the nation from Black Lives Matter activists in response to a number of police-involved incidents this year.

More from the Courier Journal:

Louisville was placed under a state of emergency Tuesday as city officials closed down a more than 25-block perimeter to traffic. Most city administrative buildings and other businesses were boarded up in anticipation of the decision. Protests in Louisville related to Taylor’s death in March have been taking place for more than 100 consecutive days.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has put a 72-hour curfew in place in Louisville, effective Wednesday night, from 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.


Adding to the tension, the Louisville Metro Police Department is also dealing with an email sent to officers on Tuesday morning by a sergeant who fired his gun — and was shot — during the raid of Ms. Taylor’s apartment, the New York Times reported.

“I know we did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night,” Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, who is on administrative leave, reportedly wrote in the email.

According to the Times, Mattingly railed against police command staff, the mayor and the F.B.I. and said “good guys are demonized, and criminals are canonized.”

A large crowd was already on hand ahead of the Cameron’s announcement, as seen in the video below capturing organizers speaking to those gathered.

The crowd was instructed to conduct themselves “not peaceful, but non-violent.”


Police had been investigating two men for selling drugs, and believed one of the men may have possibly been using Taylor’s home — Taylor had previously dated the man.

More from the Times:

Ms. Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had been in bed, but got up when they heard a loud banging at the door. Mr. Walker said he and Ms. Taylor both called out, asking who was at the door. Mr. Walker later told the police he feared it was Ms. Taylor’s ex-boyfriend trying to break in.

After the police broke the door off its hinges, Mr. Walker fired his gun once, striking Sergeant Mattingly in a thigh. The police responded by firing several shots, striking Ms. Taylor five times. One of the three officers on the scene, Detective Brett Hankison, who has since been fired, shot 10 rounds blindly into the apartment.


Police and prosecutors say the officers knocked and announced themselves before breaking down the door — Walker has said he did not hear the police announce who they were.

Walker, who was reportedly licensed to carry a gun, was not wounded, and no drugs were found at Taylor’s home.

Tom Tillison


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