One of the three police officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death was indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday. Earlier this month the City of Louisville awarded Taylor’s family a $12 million settlement, but the charges on Wednesday fall short of what many, including Taylor’s mother, were hoping for.
Brett Hankison, a former Louisville Metro Police Officer, is charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into neighboring apartments but was not charged directly for Taylor’s death.
As W. Kamau Bell wrote on Twitter, “Brett Hankison is indicted for shooting into the apartment NEXT to Breonna Taylor & not for KILLING HER. He’s fired for shooting into BREONNA TAYLOR’S apartment & not for KILLING HER. This is systemic racism.”
Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was fatally shot by police on March 13. The officers were executing an overnight warrant in the course of a narcotics investigation. They broke down the door, reportedly assuming Taylor was home alone, But she wasn’t. She was asleep in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who was in legal possession of a firearm. As attorneys have stated, no drugs were found in the apartment.
“[When I learned that she’d been killed] I fell to the ground. I could not breathe. I couldn’t focus on anything. People were talking and I couldn’t hear them. I was angry and all I could see was red. [And then] for her birthday to come up so quickly after this incident was heartbreaking,” Breonna’s mom, Tameka Palmer, told Good Morning America.
“I didn’t want to be up out of bed. I didn’t want to deal with people. But all these people who I don’t even know came from everywhere to celebrate her life. So I had to get up and I had to talk and I had to be around these people. I’m grateful, I really am, but just that day, in that moment, I didn’t want to be that person [because] she’s not here. She wasn’t here to enjoy it.”
After the grand jury indicted Hankison on Wednesday protesters marched in outrage.
[This story is developing and will be updated.]