Grand jury in­dicts of­fi­cer, but not for Tay­lor’s death

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - CANADA & WORLD -

LOUISVILLE, KY. — A Ken­tucky grand jury brought no charges against Louisville po­lice for the killing of Bre­onna Tay­lor dur­ing a drug raid gone wrong, with pros­e­cu­tors say­ing Wed­nes­day two of­fi­cers who fired their weapons at the Black woman were jus­ti­fied in us­ing force to pro­tect them­selves.

The grand jury in­stead charged fired of­fi­cer Brett Hanki­son with three counts of wan­ton en­dan­ger­ment for firing into Tay­lor’s neigh­bours’ homes dur­ing the raid on the night of March 13. The FBI is still in­ves­ti­gat­ing po­ten­tial vi­o­la­tions of fed­eral law in the case.

Along with the killing of Ge­orge Floyd in Minnesota, Tay­lor’s case be­came a ma­jor touch­stone for the na­tion­wide protests that have gripped the na­tion since May — draw­ing at­ten­tion to en­trenched racism and de­mand­ing po­lice re­form. Tay­lor’s image has been painted on streets, em­bla­zoned on protest signs and silk-screened on T-shirts worn by celebri­ties.

The charges drew im­me­di­ate sad­ness, frus­tra­tion and anger that the grand jury did not go fur­ther. The wan­ton en­dan­ger­ment charges each carry a sen­tence of up to five years. Pro­test­ers be­gan march­ing through the streets of Louisville, where Tay­lor was killed, af­ter the an­nounce­ment, shout­ing “No jus­tice, no peace.” Some sat qui­etly and cried.

Tay­lor, an emer­gency med­i­cal worker, was shot mul­ti­ple times by of­fi­cers who en­tered her home on a no-knock war­rant dur­ing a nar­cotics in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The war­rant used to search her home was con­nected to a sus­pect who did not live there, and no drugs were found in­side. The use of no-knock war­rants has since been banned by Louisville’s coun­cil.

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