In an epic failing of justice, Kentucky AG, Daniel Cameron failed to charge officers with the murder of Breonna Taylor six months after her death. Officer Hankison, Sgt. John Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove carried out a “no-knock” search warrant at Taylor’s apartment shortly before 1 a.m. March 13. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he did not know they were police and exchanged fire with the officers. Breonna Taylor was stuck six times.
Investigators were told that Ms. Taylor coughed and struggled to breathe for at least five minutes after being shot. An ambulance on standby outside the apartment had been told to leave about an hour before the raid, counter to standard practice. The officers called an ambulance back to the scene as they struggled to render aid to Sergeant Mattingly, who had been shot once in the leg by Taylor’s boyfriend. Breonna Taylor was never given any medical attention.
Cameron, a protege of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, charged only one of the three officers involved in the taking of the life of the 26-year-old ER technician’s life. The one officer, Hankison, was charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. The charge stems from the bullets fired into the neighbor’s home of Breonna Taylor. In Kentucky, wanton endangerment is a Class D felony and could carry up to five years in prison.
Under Kentucky law, “A person is guilty of wanton endangerment when, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person,” state law says.
Hankison was fired in June after interim Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder said he “blindly” fired into Taylor’s apartment, creating a substantial danger of death and serious injury. His termination letter stated that he showed “extreme indifference to the value of human life.” The former officer was released about half an hour later after paying his bail set at $15,000.
The Kentucky Attorney General stated that there was no conclusive evidence that Hankison’s shots hit Breonna Taylor. He then decided not to file charges against the other two officers, Mattingly and Cosgrove. He said they were justified in their use of deadly force against Breonna Taylor.
In the indictment, Breonna Taylor was not named as a victim in the case filing. With that, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has said the quiet thing aloud; Breonna Taylor’s life did not matter.
Recently in an email to his colleagues, Sergeant Mattingly railed against the Police Department’s command staff, the Mayor, and the F.B.I. saying, “good guys are demonized, and criminals are canonized.” And “I know we did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night.”
Louisville officials agreed to pay $12 million to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by Ms. Taylor’s mother and to institute reforms aimed at preventing future deaths by officers. However, Breonna Taylor was murdered, and no one is being held criminally liable in her death. Trump’s FBI is also investigating the botched raid that caused Taylor’s death.
Contributing writer, LaToya Wright is the creator of thefatgirloffashion.com. Connect with her about lifestyle, beauty, and fashion topics at @fatgirl_fashion on Twitter.