None of the cops who murdered Breonna Taylor are being charged for her murder

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Breonna Taylor was murdered by Louisville cops in her home on March 13th of this year. It was after midnight, she was in her apartment with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker. The Louisville police obtained a no-knock warrant on her apartment with sketchy information about an ex-boyfriend, a guy she had not spoken to or seen in a few months. There is a lot of murkiness around Breonna’s murder because the cops who murdered her lied in various police reports, lied to the media and lied to prosecutors and lawyers. Plus, right-wing media spent the last six months smearing Breonna, her family and her boyfriend. Breonna was unarmed and she was an EMT and she had no criminal record. The cops were the ones “looking for trouble.” The cops were the ones who shot wildly into her apartment and murdered her. And none of those cops will be charged with her murder. Only one cop involved in the crime will be charged with anything and that was because he fired so wildly, he could have hurt Breonna’s white neighbors.

No police officers will be charged with the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, an incident that led to months of protests and made Taylor a face of the Black Lives Matter movement. However, one of the three involved officers was indicted for wanton endangerment for allegedly firing bullets that risked injury to persons in an adjacent apartment, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Wednesday.

Nothing determined that former detective Brett Hankison, the lone officer who will now face criminal charges, fired the shot that killed Taylor, a 26-year-old aspiring nurse who had been working as an emergency room technician, on March 13 in her Louisville apartment, Cameron said at a news conference. That shot was fired by another officer, detective Miles Cosgrove, according to Cameron. But no additional charges were filed against Cosgrove or Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly because “our investigation showed, and the grand jury agreed, Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their return of deadly fire after having been fired upon by Kenneth Walker,” Cameron said.

Walker is Taylor’s boyfriend, who was with her when the officers entered the apartment while executing a search warrant in an investigation into a suspected drug dealer.

The decision against bringing murder or manslaughter charges, along with the absence of charges against Mattingly and Cosgrove, seemed certain to spark a backlash as the city’s mayor prepared by enacting a curfew and Louisville Metro Police confirmed that the state’s National Guard had been activated, reports local TV station WLKY.

Ben Crump, an attorney for Taylor’s family, tweeted after the announcement: “If Brett Hankison’s behavior was wanton endangerment to people in neighboring apartments, then it should have been wanton endangerment in Breonna Taylor’s apartment too. In fact, it should have been ruled wanton murder!”

[From People]

I wasn’t expecting anything from the grand jury, because that’s the go-to play for counties and cities who don’t want to punish racist, violent murderers who hide behind badges. There was plenty of evidence for a DA or state’s attorney to charge the cops. Instead, they hid behind a grand jury, because everyone in Louisville’s legal system is a coward.

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Cover courtesy of Vanity Fair, additional photos courtesy of Getty.

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53 Responses to “None of the cops who murdered Breonna Taylor are being charged for her murder”

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  1. Darla says:

    Well, Jason Johnson really said it all with that tweet.

  2. Deanne says:

    This honestly makes me feel like I could vomit. How is this even possible?

  3. Ohlala says:

    What is happenning America???
    I am white European woman and I am raging over this. I am so shocked and upset but most of all fucking angry…

    • aang says:

      In my city there were protests last night and a truck drove through the crowd running over a legal observer and sending her to the ER. The police are “investigating” and the driver has not been arrested even though the entire thing, including plate #, is on video. The US is falling apart before our eyes. That is what is happening.

  4. Melissai says:

    Daniel Cameron had no trial experience and was a clerk for Mitch McConnell. He ran for AG of KY and which was well funded by McConnell. He was never going to indict the 3 cops. I’m channeling my anger into donating to bail funds in Louisville and getting out the vote. There’s a lot of Republican senators in vulnerable races. Let’s vote them out!

  5. Jay says:

    Not to mention that after shooting her, they apparently LEFT HER ON THE FLOOR for twenty minutes! There are so many things that enrage me about this crime, but the thought of Breonna, an EMT herself, struggling with her wounds and being stepped over like a bag of garbage as those cops tried to get their stories straight is the stuff of nightmares.

    • Esmom says:

      It is the stuff of nightmares and every day feels worse here. I truly don’t know how we can begin to undo all the damage we have wrought, long before Trump emerged in the WH.

    • Veronica S. says:

      They left her on purpose. Dead people can’t testify in court.

  6. kesley says:

    Outrageous and sickening even though I knew it was coming since those in power started boarding up businesses and getting police on high alert the day before.

    The one officer was charged because some of the bullets he shot went into the apartment of the white neighbor. That’s the only reason he is facing any charges whatsoever. None for killing a black woman but for the fact he MIGHT have killed a white person. If he had killed one of the white neighbors accidentally no question he would have been charged for that murder but not Breonna’s.

    Black lives do not matter to police. We have an apartheid police system in this country. There is no justice. Police are now free to enter any damn home they please and just shoot you even if you have done nothing wrong.

    • Anna says:

      My PTSD and anxiety are through the roof right now. As a Black woman, I lay in bed last night, heart pounding, knowing that at any moment due to anything completely unrelated to me, police could barge in and kill me. That is the reality. I don’t know if I will make it, based on anxiety alone. And the police helicopters were out in force, swarming the air, flying low, fucking authoritarian tactics. I grew up in a military dictatorship; I saw the writing on the wall years ago, when this monster first came into power. My heart breaks for all of the Black women here. No one protects us, even in death.

    • Laura says:

      You are so right! The police are out of control. We have to vote and get all the racists out of office that allow this system to continue.

  7. Chris says:

    I wish I could say I was surprised, but we live in a seriously broken justice system. It’s heartbreaking and terrifying. It’s scary that police can pretty much do whatever they want and the state will back them up. They murdered that poor woman and now her family has to live without her and without justice.

  8. Thirtynine says:


  9. Mirage says:

    I would have been very surprised if they had been charged. The system is very, very broken. And as long as things are not fixed at a much higher level, the trend of killing black people will continue.
    I’m grateful to be a black woman living in Europe.

  10. GR says:

    I worry a lot that this country is beyond fixing.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      A lot? I’m pretty sure we’ve, “declined into chaos.” It’s disgusting. It’s despicable. A very large part of our country is stroking police egos and condemning victims. And they’re doing it loudly and with aggression. We are, undeniably, f*cked.

  11. Sunshine says:

    This really has me depressed and I’m not in the US.

  12. Nlopez says:

    This sickens me to the depth of my soul, but Im not surprised. RIP Breonna, and prayers to her family.

  13. Enis says:

    I sat in my car at lunch yesterday and cried after this. Given the laws, I don’t think the grand jury made an incorrect indictment. That is the biggest problem here – the laws are written in a way that give cops a free ticket to kill someone as long as they have a scrap of justification.

    I don’t know how these cops still have a job. My prayer is that Biden is elected and a real civil rights investigation is done by the FBI. That is the only way we will see justice.

    • Sarah says:

      I totally agree, it’s the laws that need to be changed because the laws allowed the cops to not be indicted. I also think that a law needs to be created which states that all information needs to be released because much of information within this case was withheld including her autopsy, statements from the other members of the force that were present and also the body cam footage.

  14. Nina Simone says:

    Words fail me. Wish I could say I was surprised, that wanting justice for Breonna wasn’t a pipe dream, something inconceivable. Yesterday was Also the anniversary of Emmet Till’s murderers getting acquitted after a few hours of jury deliberation. 60 plus years later nothing has changed. We really done matter to them 😔 tell us why we shouldn’t be raging.

  15. sa says:

    It almost feels worse that there are charges for shots that damaged other apartments. If there were no charges at all, it would shameful and despicable. But to have those charges feels like an affirmative statement that in Kentucky the law cares more about protecting drywall than protecting black women.

  16. Veronica S. says:

    They did this on purpose. Not just to protect their own but because they wanted those riots. They were already building up enforcement to fight back; it was clear they knew what the backlash would be here. This was a calculated decision to further the image of a lawless United States. It may have backfired and resulted in two officers dying when they didn’t expect it, but trust me, they’ll just see it as another excuse to pull the trigger. You can’t have justice when the people meant to enforce it see themselves as above the law.

    • Merricat says:

      Yes. The rabid right want a race war, and they think because they’re loud and violent, they are going to win.

    • Veronica S. says:

      It was a long, sleepless night, and I just realized I typed that the officers died when they did not. They were harmed but survived. My bad on the typo.

    • kesley says:

      I think they are going to be inciting riots over the next month closer to the election in order to try and scare white people into voting for “Law and Order” Trump even though all this is happening under his watch.

      The police are just itching to use their military toys on the population and beat people up.

  17. Lee says:

    Neither of the cops who were shot last night were killed. You all need to get your facts straight.

    The police officers knocked for a few minutes and then Mattingly was shot. But for his wallet, he would have died. This was a horrifically tragic but justified shooting. Also, only one shot was fatal (so the statement that there were three murderers is also false).

    My city is being destroyed, my friend (who is a 25 year old black cop) is terrified to go to his job, to try to protect ALL of our citizens.

    The peaceful protestors are being overshadowed by the few who are looking to disrupt the peace and it is harming the cause.

    • Merricat says:

      You’re right, two cops were wounded, not killed.

    • kesley says:

      The shooting was not justified. They already had the guy they were looking for in custody, there was no reason to go to Breonna’s apartment.

      If the shooting was “justified” and the police knocked and announced themselves, then why is Kenneth Walker, Breonna’s boyfriend, not being prosecuted for shooting at the cops? Also, why would he call 911 and report he was being robbed?

      11 neighbors said there was no knock and no announcement that they were police. The one who did say there was a knock/announcement at first said there was no knock/announcement. Only after their THIRD interview (and probably after being threatened and coerced) did that person claim they may have heard a knock/announcement.

      The police also refused to call for any medical attention for Breonna and left her lying there for over 20 minutes with no assistance and her struggling to live and them trying to get their stories straight. Is that “justified” too?

      It’s been proven that the owners of the apartment building were trying to get the police to bully and harass the Black tenants into moving out so they can make the apartments into a luxury high-rise gentrification project.

      • Poisonella says:

        All charges have been dropped against Kenneth Walker- but If I were him that is a town I ‘d have already left. I thought all the cops on the scene would have been indicted, but when they started beefing up security; I knew they would not be. There is a lot of shady business with this real estate project too- what have the cops been promised to be so helpful in clearing black residents? I feel for the woman’s family in all this- I do pray for them.

      • Dee says:

        I don’t believe the grand jury saw all the evidence. Walker’s lawyer says the shot that hit Officer Mattingly went into his leg at a 45 degree angle from below. How does that shot come from a man (Walker) standing in a hallway? Also, the talk about bullets and who shot whom is very sketchy. You would have fragments and not be able to identify whose gun they came from. Numbers were added/changed on the warrant to change the time of the warrant, because the suspect the police were looking for was already arrested across town before Taylor was shot. He was offered a deal if he threw Taylor under the bus, but refused to do so. So much time passed, so much shady stuff went on in that time, that justice wasn’t going to happen. I am hurting for my city and hurting for the those who are denied justice on a regular basis.

  18. Lindy says:

    I do think they want the riots. I think it can be both things: we have a system of apartheid where Black people are killed, injured, and imprisoned unjustly so this verdict was only ever going to go this way. AND the GOP wants the riots because that’s how they thinly justify the fascist tactics they’re using.

  19. Milkweed says:

    Justice eludes us again. RIP Breonna. You didn’t deserve to die.

  20. Miumiiiu says:

    They carry guns in America because many citizens have guns. Even this young guy bf of a paramedic had and used a gun. But since they are trained well paid and KNOW that they may use their guns would it really be too much to train them and make it mandatory to prevent people from dying of gunshot wounds? In many of the recent cases not only was the shooting unjustifiable but there was an opportunity to save the life, and they just let the person lie there dying. This part should be talked about more. But we focus on « debating » the danger the police is in. They won’t be in danger helping someone to stop bleeding!

  21. Murphy says:

    Wait, so they were looking for her ex-boyfriend, not her current boyfriend Kenneth Walker? And now they’re claiming that they did announce themselves when they really didn’t? I’m having a hard time getting all the information because of the smears and it really sucks.

  22. AMM says:

    I’m so very sad and so very tired. RIP Breonna. I’m sorry we failed you.

  23. STRIPE says:

    I saw this on Instagram, can’t remember who said it, but if it isn’t the most perfect summation….

    “The cops who murdered Breonna Taylor were only charged for the bullets that missed”

  24. Cait says:

    I live in Louisville and this is truly sickening and heartbreaking.

  25. detritus says:

    This is what police forces are built for – suppression.

    The American police force, the Canadian police force, even going as far back as Sparta – all were created to keep slaves and those the state did not feel were ‘people’ in line. America to track runaway slaves and return ‘property’ to the wealthy slavers. Canada to keep the indigenous population in line and help stamp them out. Sparta where the young militants training would murder the smartest and most promising slaves to keep the rest in line.

    Police are not built for our safety. They are built to protect the property of the wealthy, who view everything in capital gain. This shows another prime example – the officers are charged for destruction of property, not with the unlawful death of a young woman with so much promise.

    Defund the police. ACAB

  26. Abby DeBoni says:

    This is so sad. Did you all see the email sent by one of the cops that was leaked? Absolutely no remorse whatsoever.

  27. BnLurkN4eva says:

    Breonna Taylor rest in peace. You will be remembered and some how in this life justice will be granted by the universe that no man could dish out.

  28. Lissdogmom02 says:

    This is so horrible, I can’t understand how anyone could justify this. I’ve seen the fools & their disinformation online, I just block them. I don’t think the 30% of the US that likes chump is fixable.

  29. stormyshay says:

    I highly recommend the New York Times special on Hulu concerning the Breonna Taylor case. There is footage of her boyfriends arrest and interviews with key figures in the case, such as Taylor’s mother and boyfriend. It helped me get a grasp on the details of the situation because there have been so many inaccuracies and changing facts in the case.