Reports confirm that the two officers responsible for the death of Breonna Taylor were not indicted by the grand jury on Wednesday.
Breonna Taylor was a Black woman working as a medical worker who was shot by Louisville police officers in March. The shooting happened in her own home while she was asleep, reports confirm.
In what was described as a “botch raid,” the police reportedly shot her six times. The Cut narrates that the police were executing a “botch drug-warrant,” However, the warrant wasn’t for Breonna Taylor. No drugs were found in her apartment, as well.
In fact, the person sought by the warrant reportedly lived miles away from Taylor.
The Grand Jury decision
After more than 100 days after her death and multiple protests for her justice, the Grand Jury found no one guilty of her death. Instead, only one officer was indicted, and it was not for killing Breonna Taylor.
An officer named Brett Hankinson, per BBC was charged with three counts of “wanton endangerment.” The charge was “for firing into a neighbor’s apartment in Louisville.”
The New York Times notes that a “pregnant woman, her husband and their 5-year-old child” were residing in the said nearby apartment. That they were asleep when the shooting happened.
Meanwhile, the two officers who shot a sleeping woman have not been charged.
Breonna Taylor should be alive today.
This decision is a disgrace.
We need accountability for the officers who killed Breonna. And we need to fundamentally remake a criminal justice system that endangers Black lives with impunity. https://t.co/RDScRCNB9O
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) September 23, 2020
This decision came even after the ballistic report revealed that six bullets hit Breonna Taylor. However, only one was identified as fatal. Furthermore, this is despite the analysis that it was Detective Myles Cosgrove, who fired the shots that killed her.
BBC further notes that the officers’ action was “justified to protect themselves.” That this justification bars the prosecution from “pursuing criminal charges.”
How were the officers’ actions justifiable?
This may have been because Taylor’s boyfriend was the first to fire the shots, says The New York Times. He reportedly opened fire as he mistook them as intruders.
A total of 32 shots were reportedly fired by the police, and 10 of those are coming from Hankison. Although none of those struck Taylor.
Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump, who represented the Taylor family, expressed that the decision was “outrageous and offensive.”
Ben Crump, attorney for the family of Breonna Taylor, said of the grand jury's decision: This is "not fully what we wanted" but it "brings us closer to justice" https://t.co/lZs2gDVII5 pic.twitter.com/blf0J7iBSo
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) September 23, 2020
No officers were charged, but the officials have reportedly agreed to pay the victim’s family a total of US$12 million as settlement.
Meanwhile, protests have already erupted in Louisville following the grand jury’s decision of Breonna Taylor’s case.
President Donald Trump, on the other hand, was asked to react to the decision and said, “I thought it was really brilliant.”
Featured image courtesy of Maria Oswalt/Unsplash