According to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the two other officers who discharged their firearms during the operation – Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove – were justified in using force, because they did so after they were fired upon. They did not receive any charges relating to their actions during the incident.
“I know that not everyone will be satisfied with the charges we’ve reported today,” said Cameron at a news conference on Wednesday announcing the grand jury’s decision. “My team set out to investigate the circumstances surrounding Ms. Taylor’s death. We did it with a singular goal in mind – pursuing the truth.”
Breonna Taylor died on March 13 during a raid conducted by Louisville Metro Police as part of a larger narcotics investigation. As the raid was occurring, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot at police officers, striking Mattingly in the leg. The officers were forced to respond, with a small gunfight ensuing. At one point, Taylor was struck with multiple bullets and later died.
The city of Louisville previously reached a settlement agreement with Taylor’s family, who had filed a wrongful death lawsuit, which includes a payment of $12 million and promises of future police reforms.
Kent Wicker, the attorney for Mattingly, said that Taylor’s death was a tragedy and that it shouldn’t have happened – but his client and the other officers “did not act in a reckless or unprofessional manner.”
“They did their duty, performed their roles as law enforcement officers and, above all, did not break the law,” said Wicker in a statement.
Both Mattingly and Cosgrove fired several shots into the apartment. Hankison, who was fired back in June, endangered three innocent people when his bullets flew into other apartments.
Hankison can face up to fifteen years in prison – five years per wanton endangerment charge – for his reckless actions during the operation. He surrendered himself to authorities and was briefly detained at the Shelby County Detention Center. He posted his $15,000 bail and was released.
Louisville is expecting Antifa and Black Lives Matter to react negatively to the decision to not arrest all of the cops involved in the operation. Mayor Greg Fischer, a Democrat, is asking the city’s residents to remain calm by reminding them that “the case is far from over.”
That said, in anticipation of the attorney general’s announcement and public reaction to it, Fischer had already declared a state of emergency in the city.
Louisville’s downtown streets were been closed off in order to protect city and private property in the lucrative commercial district. A countywide curfew from 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. was also issued, lasting until Friday. The curfew does not apply to people going to and from work, for people seeking medical care and for religious institutions holding evening or early morning activities and services.
Fischer has also confirmed that members of the Kentucky National Guard have been called in to supplement the numbers of the LMPD, and that they would be among the “various state, local and federal partners” entering the city to protect it. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear previously said that he had not authorized the National Guard to prepare to respond, but that he will deploy them to Louisville if needed.
Many businesses in the downtown neighborhood have also shut down and boarded up their storefronts in anticipation of the looting that will most likely occur. This has made life difficult for many downtown residents, as some of these stores, like Kroger – which has announced that it will be closing early for the rest of the week – are a vital source of food for the community. (Related: Black Lives Matter now operating as the new Mafia, shaking down Louisville businesses and demanding racial hiring quotas.)
Fischer repeatedly said that people have a right to protest and that they should do so if they feel they have been wronged. “Our goal is ensuring space and opportunity for people to gather and express their First Amendment rights while maintaining public safety.”
The mayor has also urged civil society groups in Louisville to protest peacefully, citing the changes that they have already been able to bring about, such as Breonna’s Law, which bans no-knock warrants and requires officers who serve warrants to wear body cameras.
The mayor said he remains committed to working in order to eliminate “systemic and structural racism” in Louisville.
“Let’s turn to each other, not on each other, in this moment of opportunity. Use your passion, your energy and your commitment to shape the city that we all want: A city of peace, a city of justice, a city of opportunity and a city of equity. That is a city that all Louisvillians deserve.”
The riots in Louisville are still currently ongoing. Stay updated on the latest events in that city, as well as in other riot-heavy cities like Portland and Seattle, by following Rioting.news.