A police officer has been charged in the shooting incident that resulted in the March death of Breonna Taylor. However, the officer faces charges of first-degree wanton endangerment, not charges of murder or manslaughter.
This has enraged Taylor’s family and their lawyer, Ben Crump, who tweeted that the charges were “offensive”.
The officer, Brent Hankison, was fired from the Louisville PD in July during grand jury proceedings. His connection to the shooting has been controversial, and at the center of ongoing protests in the city.
Taylor’s death has become a rallying cry as part of a larger Black Lives Matter movement that has gripped the nation since the beginning of the summer.
Judge Annie O’Connell announced the charges Wednesday afternoon, confirming that Hankison faced first-degree wanton endangerment charges. These charges are for the bullets that went into the neighboring apartments around Taylor’s.
Breonna Taylor’s family was seeking no less than manslaughter charges against all three officers involved in her shooting death.
Taylor was killed when three officers attempted to serve a no-knock warrant without announcing who they were. They attempted to break down Taylor’s door but were surprised by her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
Walker fired shots into who he thought were home invaders, striking one of the police in the leg. Police returned fire, hitting a sleeping Breonna Taylor and killing her.
The family lawyer, Ben Crump, responded to the relatively light charges. He was angered that the charges were “for bullets that went into other apartments but NOTHING for the murder of Breonna Taylor.”
“This is outrageous and offensive!” Crump continued.
Many protesters and activists have been enraged over Taylor’s death for months. Part of their anger stems from the fact that police were at the wrong house. They were serving a warrant on a narcotics case.
However, the target of that probe did not live at Taylor’s address. Had police known this, or simply announced their presence before attempting to enter the apartment, Taylor would likely still be alive.
Black Lives Matter organizers have noted that this case is par the course for black people in America. Many feel as though Taylor’s case is being treated lightly due to her skin color.
This has resulted in widespread protests in Louisville, which are expected to continue in light of the lenient charges on the officers involved in the shooting.
Black Lives Matter protesters marching through the city have repeated their often-heard mantra, “no justice, no peace”. It is unlikely that Louisville will know peace tonight.