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Only 1 Officer Involved in the Raid that Killed Breonna Taylor Is Being Charged
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Six months after police shot and killed Breonna Taylor in her home during a botched raid in Louisville, a grand jury has decided to bring criminal charges against Officer Brett Hankison, just one of three officers responsible who fired their weapons that night according to multiple news outlets.
Hankison’s fate, announced Wednesday afternoon, brings an end to months of public uncertainty on whether he and two other officers involved in the raid — Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove — would face legal ramifications for killing the 26-year-old EMT. Hankison will be charged with wanton endangerment in the first degree.
In June, Hankison was fired from his post for violating police procedure and endangering the lives of others when he fired 10 bullets into Taylor’s apartment. Mattingly and Cosgrove, who have been exonerated by Wednesday’s decision, have been on administrative leave since March.
Taylor’s death, along with the those of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and dozens more, incited months of protests across the country denouncing police brutality and racism against Black and brown communities and calling to defund and reform law enforcement in the U.S. Within the Louisville Metro Police Department, a series of reforms have already started, including the end of no-knock warrants.
Earlier this week, the city and state began bracing for the fallout of the grand jury’s decision. The Louisville Metro Police Department enacted a state of emergency, canceling all scheduled vacation days within the department and barricading the city’s downtown area, where protesters have congregated nightly since May. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear has been prepared to deploy both the state police and the National Guard in the likely event of civil unrest.
While the state is set to move forward with action against Hankison, it isn't the only investigation in progress. On Monday, the Louisville Metro Police Department told the Courier-Journal that there was an on-going internal investigation of Mattingly and at least five other officers directly involved in the planning and execution of the no-knock warrant. The FBI is also continuing its investigation into Taylor’s death.
Last week, Taylor’s family settled their wrongful death lawsuit with the city of Louisville for a record-setting $12 million, the largest in the city’s history. The settlement also included a number of additional police reforms, including improved police record-keeping and mandatory leadership approval for all police search warrants moving forward.
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