Protests took place across the U.S., including Los Angeles, after no police officers were directly charged with the shooting and killing of Breonna Taylor.
On Wednesday, Kentucky Attorney General David Cameron presented the state’s investigation results to the grand jury, which led to officer Brett Hankison being charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for firing shots that went into another home.
“How ironic and typical that the only charges brought in this case were for shots fired into the apartment of a white neighbor, while no charges were brought for the shots fired into the black neighbor’s apartment, or into Breonna’s residence,” Ben Crump, the Taylor family attorney said in a statement. “A documented and clear cover-up, and the death of an unarmed Black woman who posed no threat and who was living her best life.”
On the same day of the indictment, officer Hankison was terminated from the Louisville Metro Police Department, with Chief Robert Schroeder saying Hankison’s “actions displayed extreme indifference to the value of life when you wantonly and blindly fired 10 shots into the apartment of Breonna Taylor.”
The charges brought against Hankison are the lowest level felonies, and he faces one to five years in prison if convicted. Hankison was released on $15,000 bail.
— LMPD (@LMPD) June 23, 2020
While daily protests have taken place in Los Angeles since George Floyd’s death in May, hundreds gathered specifically for Breonna Taylor on Wednesday, carrying over into Thursday night.
“Nobody FEELS like protesting … especially in the midst of a pandemic … But … Police stole #BreonnaTaylor’s life. Prosecutors co-signed,” Black Lives Matter Los Angeles co-founder Melina Abdullah said in a tweet. “Media echoing a narrative that blames Breonna and her partner for her own death. And they want us to be quiet. Nah.”
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Wednesday’s marchers made their way through downtown L.A. without incident, however a Thursday night protest near Hollywood Forever Cemetery saw two vehicles strike protesters on separate occasions.
Videos posted to Twitter by protesters showed a black SUV force its way through a crowd, hitting at least one person before driving away from the scene. The L.A. Fire Department transported the struck individual to a nearby hospital.
— jessicarayerogers (@jessicarayerog1) September 25, 2020
In a separate incident, SkyFOX reported a white Prius can be seen driving through a crowd of protesters and speeding up while people stood in front of the vehicle. Two cars chased down the Prius, cutting it off before a man got out of his vehicle and reached into the driver side window of the Prius.
Breonna Taylor’s Killing And Charges
Breonna Taylor’s March 13 killing sparked a movement backed by celebrities and activists alike.
Taylor was shot six times and killed by Louisville Metro Police after a no-knock warrant was being executed in connection to an ex-boyfriend of hers. Both Taylor and her current boyfriend Kenneth Walker were asleep when Walker heard banging on the apartment door. Believing that someone was trying to break in, Walker said he shot once toward the door, reportedly striking an officer in the leg. As police began to shoot back, Taylor was struck and killed while in the hallway.
In the attorney general’s investigation, the officers involved said that they knocked on Taylor’s door and announced themselves, despite it being a no-knock warrant.
Both Crump and Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear have asked for the release of evidence from the investigation and while criminal charges have now been filed, there is a federal investigation into whether any of the officers committed human rights violations.