Breonna Taylor's Family Says Ex-Officer's Indictment 'Was an Additional Injustice'

The public expressed outrage Wednesday after a jury announced none of the officers involved in Taylor's fatal shooting would be indicted on homicide charges.

Breonna Taylor

Image via Getty/Jeff Dean/AFP

Breonna Taylor

The family of Breonna Taylor is understandably outraged. 

More than six months after Taylor's fatal police shooting, a grand jury announced none of the involved officers would be indicted on homicide charges. Instead, only one defendant—former Louisville officer Brett Hankison—was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for shooting into a neighboring apartment. The jury decided the other two involved officers—Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove—were "justified" in their actions on the night of Taylor's death.

"I'm not surprised," Taylor's cousin Tawanna Gordon told the Louisville Courier Journal. "But I'm mad as hell because nothing's changing. … Today's decision was an additional injustice on our family and this country. Until Americans start getting mad enough and speaking out and forcing legislators to change the laws for all races, nothing is going to change. And it needs to happen now. Not tomorrow, but today." 

Shortly after midnight on March 13, the three officers raided Taylor's home while executing a no-knock search warrant as part of a narcotics investigation. Taylor was in bed sleeping alongside her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, when the plain-clothes officers barged in. Walker, who is a licensed gun owner, fired a warning shot at what he believed to be intruders. A shootout ensued and Taylor was shot eight times. She was pronounced dead at the scene. 

"This indictment is another clear and egregious reminder that the criminal-legal system in Louisville — and in this country — does not value Black people or see us as deserving of protection from those who’ve taken an oath to 'protect and serve,'" the Movement for Black Lives wrote in a statement. "For months, millions of outraged people in every state have called for all three officers responsible for Breonna’s murder to be fired, arrested, and charged with murder. Today's paltry announcement is a grave miscarriage of justice ... We will continue fighting to hold all three officers who killed Breonna accountable, to defund the Louisville police department and re-envision what public safety looks like in our country. We won’t stop until ALL Black people can live and thrive without fear of harm from the state."

Activists, celebrities, and political figures have also taken to social media to express outrage over Wednesday's verdict. Bernie Sanders, Common, George Clooney, Viola Davis, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Colin Kaepernick were among those who called continued to demand justice for Taylor and echoed calls for criminal justice reform.

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