A grand jury in Louisville has indicted former detective Brett Hankison on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. He will be the only officer indicted for his actions during the police shooting that killed 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in her own home on March 13. Neither Sgt. Jon Mattingly or Myles Cosgrove will faces charges.
Wanton endangerment is a Class D felony, with a penalty of one to five years in prison. Judge Annie O’Connell, who read the charges, said that Hankison “wantonly fired a gun” into three apartments. But the Louisville Courier-Journal notes that Taylor’s initials were not found among the charges, meaning the grand jury likely did not find that Hankison wantonly fired his gun into Taylor’s apartment. In other words, it appears that nobody was indicted for Taylor’s actual death — just for the damage done to the surrounding apartments the night she was killed.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s team has been investigating the shooting since May and presented the findings of their investigation to the grand jury a few days ago. Mayor Greg Fischer has since issued a curfew in Louisville beginning at 9pm.
Last week, the City of Louisville settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Taylor’s family for $12 million, which included a bundle of police reforms. On Tuesday, Mattingly sent an email to his colleagues stating that he and his fellow officers did “the legal, moral and ethical thing that night.”
In the months since Taylor was killed while she slept during a no-knock police raid, her cause has been taken up by protestors, activists, athletes, celebrities and international figures demanding that arrests be made.