Ex-officer charged with wanton endangerment in deadly shooting of Breonna Taylor

Cover Image

Louisville police officer Brett Hankison has been charged with Wanton Endangerment in the deadly shooting of Breonna Taylor, a judge announced Wednesday.

A grand jury in Louisville presented its findings to a judge Wednesday afternoon.

The judge set a $15,000 cash bond for Hankison, and a warrant for his arrest has been issued.

Hankison was fired from the city’s police department June 23.

Following the announcement, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron at a press conference called Taylor's death a "tragedy," adding, "Every day, this family wakes up to the realization that somebody they love is no longer with them. ... I urge everyone to not lose sight of the fact that a life has been lost."

Hankison, Sgt. Johnathan Mattingly, Officer Myles Cosgrove and the detective who sought the warrant, Joshua Jaynes, were placed on administrative reassignment after the shooting.

Taylor was shot multiple times by officers who entered her home using a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation. Taylor's boyfriend shot at the officers, thinking they were intruders. But Cameron said at his press conference that officers did not on the couple's door, citing a witness. The warrant used to search her home was connected to a suspect who did not live there. No drugs were found at the apartment.

Cameron said the charges against Hankison relate to endangering Breonna Taylor's neighbours -- but Mattingly and Cosgrove's use of force was justified because Taylor's boyfriend fired first.

Ben Crump, the attorney for the Taylor family tweeted, "This is outrageious and offensive!"

He added in a subsequent tweet, "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!"