Darcy Costello, et al., Louisville Courier Journal, September 23, 2020
A former detective with the Louisville police department has been indicted on felony charges of wanton endangerment after shooting into the apartments next door to Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old EMT who was killed in her own home by police.
Brett Hankison, who was fired in June, is facing three felony counts and bail was set at $15,000. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Two other officers involved in the shooting, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, were justified in their use of force, state Attorney General Daniel Cameron said at news conference.
All three fired their weapons at Taylor’s apartment. Cameron said Wednesday that Cosgrove fired the fatal shot.
Protesters in downtown Louisville almost immediately began chanting “No justice, no peace.”
A wanton endangerment charge is a class D felony and carries a penalty of one to five years in prison.
The charges read by Judge Annie O’Connell on Wednesday said that Hankison “wantonly shot a gun” into three apartments.The occupants of those apartments were identified by initials. None of them were BT – Breonna Taylor. That means the grand jury didn’t find that Hankison wantonly fired into her apartment.
In May, Taylor’s neighbor, Chesey Napper, filed a lawsuit against the LMPD officers, claiming that the officers’ shots were “blindly fired” and nearly struck a man inside. Napper was pregnant and had a child in the home, according to the lawsuit.
The announcement comes after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office presented its findings to the jury earlier this week. His team has been investigating the Taylor shooting since May.
In anticipation of Cameron’s announcement, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer invoked a 72-hour curfew, effective Wednesday night, from 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. A week ago, Fischer announced the city agreed to a $12 million settlement with Breonna Taylor’s family that includes more than a dozen police reforms.
Mattingly and Cosgrove, as well as four other LMPD officers, still face an internal investigation for possible violations of department policy in the Taylor shooting that could potentially cost them their job.
The FBI is also investigating Taylor’s death.