Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Wednesday that a grand jury decided against murder charges for three Louisville Metro Police Department officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, in her home.
After more than 100 days of protests since the March killing in Kentucky’s largest city, and calls from demonstrators, lawmakers and even celebrities for the arrest of Taylor’s killers, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove will remain free. Ex-Detective Brett Hankison, who was fired in June, will face three counts of first-degree felony wanton endangerment for firing from outside Taylor’s apartment into neighboring units.
It was a predictable end to the grand jury process. Legal experts in Kentucky broadly expected Cameron and the grand jury to avoid charges against Cosgrove and Mattingly, and saw wanton endangerment charges against Hankison as the only possible indictment.
That the officers are not criminally liable for Taylor’s death, however, does not mean that Louisville’s police, Louisville itself, and the nation of which it is a part do not have major questions to answer. Chief among them: Why were police officers at Taylor’s home, executing a warrant in the middle of the night? Why is this how police approach a minor drug case? Why are Black communities policed this way?
.@AOC was asked abt the #BreonnaTaylor decision. What she said (per Hill pool): "it's just weighing really heavy on my heart, and because we know that her death is not just the result of one person but the system, structure, and department that failed their entire community."— Nicholas Wu (@nicholaswu12) September 23, 2020
Whether Louisville, and the nation, get justice will depend on where the city goes from here, because even if these officers did everything by the book ― at least to the extent that they’re not prosecutable on homicide charges ― that Breonna Taylor is dead is only the latest major...