Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African-American woman, was fatally shot in her Louisville, Kentucky, apartment on March 13, 2020, when white plainclothes officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) forced entry into the apartment as part of an investigation into drug dealing operations Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was inside the apartment with her when the officers knocked on the door and then forced entry. Officers said that they announced themselves as police before forcing entry, but Walker said he did not hear any announcement, thought the officers were intruders and fired a warning shot at them. According to officials, it hit Mattingly in the leg, and the officers fired 32 shots in return. Walker was unhurt but Taylor was hit by six bullets and died. According to police, Taylor’s home was never searched.
On June 23, 2020, the LMPD fired Hankison for blindly firing through the covered patio door and window of Taylor’s apartment. On September 15, the city of Louisville agreed to pay Taylor’s family $12 million and reform police practices. On September 23, a state grand jury indicted Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment for endangering Taylor’s neighbors with his shots. None of the officers involved in the raid has been charged in Taylor’s death. Cosgrove was determined to have fired the fatal shot that killed Taylor. On October 2, 2020, recordings from the grand jury investigation into the shooting were released. Two of the jurors released a statement saying that the grand jury was not presented with homicide charges against the officers. Several jurors have also accused Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and the police of covering up what happened.
The shooting of Taylor by police officers led to numerous protests that added to those across the United States against police brutality and racism. When a grand jury did not indict the officers for her death, further civil unrest ensued.
1. Charges must be filed immediately against John Mattingly, Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, Joshua Jaynes.
2. Taylor’s family must be paid in damages for wrongful death and the negligence of the LMPD.
3. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear must appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Louisville Police Department immediately.
4. The “no-knock” warrant that police had used in Breonna’s murder should be illegal
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