Breonna Taylor: Police officer charged but not over death

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Breonna Taylor: Police officer charged but not over death

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A grand jury has charged one police officer over the raid which resulted in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor at her home in the US state of Kentucky.

Ms Taylor, 26, a hospital emergency room technician, was shot multiple times during the raid on 13 March.

Brett Hankison has been charged, not with Breonna Taylor's death, but with "wanton endangerment" for firing into a neighbour's apartment.

Two other officers who were involved have not been charged.

Under Kentucky law, someone is guilty of wanton endangerment if they commit an act that shows "an extreme indifference to the value of human life".

It is a felony that can come with a five-year sentence for each count. Mr Hankison was charged on three counts.

But Ben Crump, a high-profile lawyer for the Taylor family, said the fact that no charges had been brought in direct relation to the killing was "outrageous and offensive".

Ms Taylor's death has become a rallying cry for anti-racism protesters, who called for the three officers involved to be charged over her killing.

Officials earlier agreed to pay her family $12m (£9.3m) in a settlement.

What's the latest?

On Wednesday, Judge Annie O'Connell announced the charges that had been brought by a grand jury against Mr Hankison.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron then held a news conference in which he expanded on the decision. "This is a gut-wrenching emotional case," he said.

"There is nothing I can offer them today to take away the grief and heartache as a result of losing a child, a niece a sister, and a friend," he added.

Mr Cameron said a ballistics report had found that six bullets had struck Ms Taylor, but only one was fatal. He said it was not clear if Mr Hankison's shots had hit Ms Taylor, but they had hit a neighbouring apartment.

Mr Cameron said the other two officers – Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove – had been "justified to protect themselves and the justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges".

Meanwhile, a state of emergency has been declared in Louisville and protests are expected. The National Guard have also been deployed.

Mayor Greg Fischer has set a 21:00-06:30 curfew in the city that will remain in place for the next 72 hours. He earlier said he had declared a state of emergency "due to the potential for civil unrest".

Demonstrations over Ms Taylor's death have been held in the city for more than 100 consecutive days. Police have closed traffic on certain streets where protests have been prevalent and barricades have been erected around the city centre.

What happened to Ms Taylor?

Ms Taylor was at home in Louisville on 13 March when police officers entered her apartment shortly after midnight, her family says.

Narcotics officers raided her home and used a battering ram to take her front door off its hinges. No drugs were found on her property and Ms Taylor had no criminal record.

Police were acting on a controversial type of search warrant – known as a "no-knock" warrant – that allows police to enter a home without warning. Police claim they knocked and announced themselves before entering, but Ms Taylor's family and a neighbour have disputed this.

At the time, Ms Taylor was in bed with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, a licensed gun owner, according to her family. Hearing the commotion, Mr Walker believed people were trying to break into the apartment and he later told police he fired one shot of his pistol.

Officials say Mr Walker's bullet struck a police officer, Jonathan Mattingly, in the leg – an injury for which he later required surgery.

Mr Mattingly and two other officers, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove, returned fire and shot more than 20 rounds. Mr Walker wasn't wounded but Ms Taylor was hit multiple times and died in the hallway of her apartment, lawyers for her family said.

The subsequent police report contained numerous errors, including listing Ms TaRead More – Source

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