A jury acquitted, Thursday, March 3, the only police officer implicated after the death of the African-American Breonna Taylor, killed almost two years ago in her apartment during a surprise intervention.
White police officer Brett Hankison, 45, had not been charged in the young woman’s death, but for having ” put in danger “ his neighbors by discharging his weapon through a partition. After a week of trial and three hours of deliberations, the jurors declared it ” not guilty “.
This verdict is likely to rekindle anger in Louisville, the largest city in Kentucky, which caught fire in September 2020, when prosecutors had given up pursuing the other police officers involved in the tragedy and had retained only one count of supplementary charge against Mr. Hankison.
This is “new proof of police impunity” and “shows the work that remains to be done before we can say that our judicial system is fair”criticized the famous lawyer Ben Crump, who defended the family of Breonna Taylor and numerous victims of police violence.
But Brett Hankison’s attorney, Stew Mathews, praised “a suitable verdict”. “Justice has been served”he commented, considering that his client had just “does his job as a policeman”.
The town hall has initiated a reform of its police
On March 13, 2020, three Louisville police officers broke into the home of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old caregiver, in the middle of the night as part of a drug trafficking investigation targeting her former boyfriend. His new companion Kenneth Walker had believed them to be burglars and had fired a shot with a legally owned weapon. The police responded and Breonna Taylor received around 20 bullets.
The agents had a so-called “no knock” warrant, authorizing them to break down the door without warning. They claim to have announced themselves all the same, which Mr. Walker disputes.
The death of Breonna Taylor did not attract much attention at first, but she returned to the front of the stage a few months later as part of the large anti-racism demonstrations which shook the United States after the death of George Floyd, a black 40-year-old suffocated by a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020.
To put an end to a civil complaint, the mayor of Louisville has agreed to pay twelve million dollars to the family of Breonna Taylor and to initiate initial reforms of its police. Its law enforcement agencies are also the subject of a federal government investigation into their practices.