The grand jury has indicted just one officer, Brett Hankison, on charges of wanton endangerment. The officer was not charged because of shooting Breonna Taylor … he was charged with shooting into a neighboring apartment. The other 2 officers who fired shots the night Breonna Taylor was killed were not charged. In other words, no one was charged for killing Breonna.
Hankison has been indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree — for firing recklessly and without due regard for life. His bail has been set at $15,000. Wanton endangerment carries a maximum penalty of 5 years if convicted.
The indictment has already sparked anger. Rev. Al Sharpton called it “grossly insufficient.”
AG Daniel Cameron called Breonna’s death a “gut-wrenching” tragedy, but said his job is to follow the law. He said for civil rights violations the federal government can charge officers who cross the line. But civil rights lawyer Lee Merritt told us on TMZ Live a few minutes ago … he believes the fix was in between Cameron and Trump, and Trump is not going to tolerate federal charges.
Cameron had told the media he was waiting on a ballistics report from the FBI, which at the time he claimed was just about the last piece of the puzzle before he could wrap his investigation. Once he got that, he walked it back and said it was inconclusive — and then eventually kicked the whole case over to a grand jury out of Jefferson County … presumably to appear impartial in the conclusion that’s ultimately reached.
It’s a tense moment — and you can tell by what the City of Louisville did earlier this week … preemptively declaring a state of emergency and putting a 9 PM to 6:30 AM curfew in place in anticipation of the announcement. Ominous to say the least, they’re clearly erring on the side of caution.
Cops were told they couldn’t take time off for a while starting this week … so it’s basically all hands on deck — the assumption being if no charges are brought forth, chaos will erupt.
Police Chief Robert Schroeder had said Hankison had “violated obedience to rules and regulations,” and use of deadly force while serving the no-knock warrant.
The other officers involved in Breonna’s death — Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove — had already been placed on administrative reassignment but were still part of the force. It would seem the 2 would get their old jobs back now that they have been cleared.
As we reported … Oprah went to extraordinary lengths to push for justice in the case, including buying 26 billboards around Louisville. Likewise, countless professional athletes, entertainers and ordinary citizens on social media have kept Breonna’s name, and her tragic case, in the spotlight.
Her death has been controversial from the start. As we reported officers initially reported Breonna was uninjured during the raid … and prosecutors seemingly tried to smear her in a plea bargain with her ex-BF.
Breonna’s family recently settled a civil lawsuit with the City for around $12 million. Her mother said they were grateful for the historic settlement, but still wanted full justice.
Originally Published — 9:55 AM PT