Former Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) officer Brett Hankinson has been charged with one count of first-degree wanton endangerment in relation to the events leading to the death of unarmed EMT Breonna Taylor, NBC News reported. Other officers allegedly involved in her death have not yet been criminally indicted, and it remains unclear if they will be charged.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, on March 13, Taylor, 26, was asleep in her bed when three plainclothes officers from the Louisville Police Department executed a “no knock” warrant on her home, looking for suspected drug dealers. During the raid, police reportedly exchanged gunfire with Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who may have believed intruders were in the house and allegedly opened fire. As the bullets flew, Breonna took more than 20 gunshots, ultimately dying from her wounds. An LMPD officer, Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, was also injured in the incident.
Since the incident, protesters across the country, and in Louisville in particular, have called for justice for the young woman.
Hankinson was fired for his role in the incident in June, and on Wednesday, Judge Annie O’Connell announced that he’s been criminally indicted. Specifically, he’s been charged with firing wantonly into several apartments and recklessly endangering Taylor’s neighbors.
He was not, however, charged directly in Taylor’s death. That did not escape the notice of Ben Crump, an attorney for Taylor’s family.
“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!” he tweeted.
Two other officers allegedly involved in Taylor’s death, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly, have not been criminally charged. It remains unclear if criminal charges will be forthcoming in their cases.
Meanwhile, the city of Louisville has been preparing for possible unrest in light of the expected announcement of what, if any, criminal charges would be filed in this case. Federal buildings were closed to the public with the street-level windows boarded up. Police have barricaded off portions of downtown and have imposed a 72-hour curfew beginning at 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Mayor Greg Fischer noted that the people have the right to protest, but that he’d rather they do it during daylight hours.
“We’re asking people to do their public protest during light. That’s the purpose of having the curfew. Most of the violence we’ve encountered over the past few months has occurred after dark,” he said.