On Wednesday, the grand jury's maddening (but sadly not shocking) decision on whether or not to bring criminal charges against the Louisville Metro Police Department cops involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor was announced.
None of the involved cops—Brett Hankison, John Mattingly, and Myles Cosgrove—were indicted on charges directly related to Taylor's killing. Instead, Hankison—who was removed from the department back in June—was indicted on counts of wanton endangerment for endangering the lives of neighbors.
As prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump explained, this weak (and widely panned) indictment does not represent an example of justice. Taylor's life, he said, was "full of possibilities but criminally cut short" by the actions of the involved officers. Crump also questioned the specifics regarding the wanton endangerment charges against Hankison.
"How ironic and typical that the only charges brought in Breonna Taylor's case were for shots fired into the apartment of a white neighbor, while no charges were brought for the shots fired at Bre or into her Black neighbor's apartment," Crump said on Wednesday.
Taylor's family also decried the grand jury decision. In comments to the Louisville Courier Journal, for example, her cousin Tawanna Gordon called the decision an "additional injustice" for both the family and the entire nation.
"Until Americans start getting mad enough and speaking out and forcing legislators to change the laws for all races, nothing is going to change," Gordon said.
This pain and frustration, compounded by years of examples of other blatant acts of police brutality, was felt all across the U.S. on Wednesday night as many joined local protests in Breonna Taylor's name. Protests occurred in New York City, Chicago, Portland, Louisville, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and in many other cities across the country. An estimated 127 people are reported as having been arrested during Wednesday night's demonstrations against the grand jury decision in Louisville.
Also in Louisville, per the Associated Press, two officers were shot and wounded during the protests. Despite how you may have seen that story presented in headlines so far, a suspect is said to be in custody though no details have been released regarding whether the suspect was actually one of the protesters. According to police, the incident occurred after officers responded to reports of gunfire near a large crowd.