Former Louisville detective Brett Hankison was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday for wanton endangerment during a bungled raid that led to the killing of Breonna Taylor in March.
Hankison violated department policy that requires officers to have a line of sight when firing when he shot into the covered sliding glass patio door and window of Taylor’s apartment.
The no-knock warrant Hankison and two other officers were acting on was for another person who lived miles away. The officers fired over 20 rounds into her apartment after her boyfriend fired a shot, striking Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the leg, believing intruders were attempting to break-in. Taylor was struck multiple times and died in the hallway of her apartment, family attorneys said.
Mattingly, Hankison and Myles Cosgrove were all placed on administrative leave during the investigation.
Hankison was the only one of the three officers who was dismissed from the force, due to “an extreme indifference to the value of human life.”
After the verdict was announced, Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron said he knew the results would not satisfy everyone.
“The decision before my office is not to decide if the loss of Breonna Taylor’s life was a tragedy — the answer to that question is unequivocally yes,” he said in a news conference. “I know that not everyone will be satisfied. Our job is to present the facts to the grand jury, and the grand jury then applies the facts. If we simply act on outrage, there is no justice — mob justice is not justice. Justice sought by violence is not justice. It just becomes revenge.”
The decision comes after more than 100 days of racial injustice protests and a long investigation into the death of Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician. Just last week, Taylor’s mother settled with the city for wrongful death, receiving $12 million. But both her mother, and the thousands of protesters nationwide, have said all three officers should be charged with murder.
Cameron said Wednesday that any additional charges stemming from the incident would be unlikely.