Activists, politicians, celebs react to minimal charges in Breonna Taylor case
None of the officers involved in the botched raid will be charged with her death
Though fired Louisville police officer Brett Hankison is being indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment of the first degree in the case of Breonna Taylor, most believe those charges are far from enough. A Jefferson County grand jury decided today to only charge one officer and not directly in Taylor’s death. She was killed in her home in March in a botched ‘no-knock’ raid.
Hankison failed to follow standard operating procedures, according to CNN, when he fired 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment— where she and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were sleeping before police barged in, her lawyers allege, without announcing themselves. Hankison is one of the three officers involved in the raid and was fired in June, months after Taylor’s death.
After the announcement was made, supporters of Taylor went on social media to express their disappointment. Hankison is charged with wanton endangerment because he fired in an open area and endangered other lives.
The family attorney, Benjamin Crump, said in a now-deleted tweet captured by CNN that the decision is not “what we wanted.”
“Jefferson County grand jury indicts former ofc. Brett Hankison Breonna Taylor’s death, with 3 counts of Wanton Endangerment in 1st Degree! We urge @kyoag to accept this recommendation ASAP. While not fully what we wanted, this brings us closer to…”
None of the officers will be officially charged with Taylor’s death.
In another Tweet by Crump, the attorney said:
“Jefferson County Grand Jury indicts former ofc. Brett Hankison with 3 counts of Wanton Endangerment in 1st Degree for bullets that went into other apartments but NOTHING for the murder of Breonna Taylor. This is outrageous and offensive!”
Activist Shaun King shared his dismay:
Derrick Johnson, the CEO of the NAACP, fired off this tweet calling the grand jury’s decision it a “national disgrace.”
“Today’s decision to only indict 1 officer with 3 counts of 1st-degree wanton endangerment is a national disgrace. We must take this anger to the polls and vote. If you’ve already voted, get your friends to vote. The only way to change the system is to overwhelm it. #BreonnaTaylor“
Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar says the lack of charges proves that property is valued more than Black lives.
Scholar and activist Marc Lamont Hill reminded people that voices inside the community in Louisville matter and that those voices need to be heard.
The official account of the Women’s March had this to say.
CNN host W. Kamau Bell called the charges or lack thereof ‘”systemic racism.”
Joy Reid shared her disappointment by encouraging folks to create change by voting.
Journalist and activist Jemele Hill said the charges indicated a lack of compassion for Taylor’s life. She was the only fatality in the raid.
Celebs upset by the minimal charges weighed in as well.
The Louisville Metro Police Department issued a state of emergency, putting the city on alert prior to the decision being announced due to the ongoing protests in support of Taylor. Demonstrations in Louisville are already beginning.
Taylor’s family received a $12M civil settlement in her case that also included a provision for police reforms.