A Kentucky grand jury on Wednesday, September 23, announced criminal charges against one of the police officers implicated in the March 13 shooting death of Breonna Taylor.

Detective Brett Hankison was charged with three felony counts of wanton endangerment, according to a livestream of the grand jury announcement. No murder charges were announced.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron was to hold a press briefing following the grand jury’s announcement.

Taylor, 26, was killed when police tried to serve a no-knock warrant at the home of Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who is accused of firing on one of the officers. Both were sleeping at the time, and Walker’s attorney has said that when he shot, he did not know it was police at the door and it was self-defense.

Louisville, KY police officer Brett Hankison, who shot dead Breonna Taylor, has been fired
Louisville, KY police officer Brett Hankison, who shot dead Breonna Taylor, has been fired

The other officers involved — Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly and detective Myles Cosgrove — did not face charges.

Hankison was fired for his conduct in the shooting, and Mattingly and Cosgrove remained on administrative leave as of Wednesday’s announcement.

Taylor’s family recently settled with the city of Louisville for $12 million in a wrongful death lawsuit, also getting the city to admit police misconduct in the language of several reforms.

Louisville was on lockdown, in an official state of emergency Wednesday, in advance of the announcement, the Courier-Journal reported, as authorities predicted widespread unrest similar to the nationwide protests that have sprung up since May following Taylor’s death, as well as the killing of George Floyd.

Here’s what you need to know:

Detective Brett Hankison Faces 3 Felony Counts of Wanton Endangerment

Hankison was already fired in June for his use of force during the botched drug raid, after police oversight found that he “wantonly and blindly fired 10 rounds” into Taylor’s home, as reported by Heavy. Some of the bullets fired by Hankison penetrated an adjacent apartment, endangering a pregnant woman, the department found.

The charges stemmed from those stray bullets, with Taylor not identified as a victim in the charges, the Courier-Journal reported. Rather, the people in the nearby apartments during the incident were identified.

The grand jury on Wednesday charged him with three counts of wanton endangerment and issued a warrant for his arrest. According to the grand jury, cash bond for Hankinson will be set at $15,000.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron Was to Speak After the Announcement, as Calls of ‘No Justice, No Peace’ Rose from the Crowd Outside

Crowds gathered near the Kentucky History Center in the hours before the announcement, and several speakers called for calm no matter the decision. Cameron was to speak shortly as of 1:37 p.m. You can watch his remarks above.


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“Black women check black women, white women check white women, white men check white men, Black men check Black men,” one speaker urged.

After it was announced that only Hankison would face charges, and no one would be charged with murder, protesters outside began to chant, “No justice, no peace.”

Activist Shaun King called the decision a “slap in the face.”

Mayor Phil Mattingly said at a press briefing Wednesday morning that the National Guard was on hand to assist Louisville police and a 72-hour curfew would be enforced between 9 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.


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