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Lawyer Calls Taylor Decision 'Outrageous and Offensive'

'It should have been wanton murder'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2020 6:25 PM CDT

(Newser) – Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump was among many people outraged Wednesday after only one of the officers involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor was indicted. Crump, who represents the Black woman's family, slammed the grand jury's decision and noted that the charges of wanton endangerment against former Louisville officer Brett Hankison were not directly related to Taylor's death, Fox News reports. "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," he tweeted. "In fact, it should have been ruled wanton murder!" Taylor was killed when officers with a "no-knock" warrant broke down her door. After her boyfriend, who said he thought officers were intruders, fired at police, the officers responded with 32 shots. More:

  • AG gets emotional. The AP reports that Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron appeared to be holding back tears at a press conference Wednesday as he explained why officers hadn't faced charges directly related to the shooting: "I understand that as a Black man, how painful this is ... which is why it was so incredibly important to make sure that we did everything we possibly could to uncover every fact," he said. Cameron, a Republican elected last year, was on Trump's short list for Supreme Court justice.

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  • Governor wants to see evidence. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear didn't directly criticize the grand jury's decision Wednesday, but he urged Cameron to release all the evidence, WLKY reports. "Everyone can and should be informed and those that are currently feeling frustration, feeling hurt, they deserve to know more," the Democrat said. "I trust Kentuckians. They deserve to see the facts for themselves."
  • Officer's lawyer says "system worked." A lawyer for one of the two officers involved in the incident but not charged said the decision showed the "system worked," the Washington Post reports. "The death of Breonna Taylor is a tragedy. But these officers did not act in a reckless or unprofessional manner,” said Kent Wicker, an attorney for Officer Jonathan Mattingly. "They did their duty, performed their roles as law enforcement officers and, above all, did not break the law." Cameron said investigators determined that Taylor was hit by shots fired by Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove, with Cosgrove firing the fatal shot.
  • FBI is still investigating. The FBI, which opened its investigation of the March 13 shooting in May, says it is still gathering evidence. "FBI Louisville continues its federal investigation into all aspects of the death of Breonna Taylor," spokesman Tim Beam tells the Louisville Courier-Journal. "This work will continue beyond the state charges announced today."
  • "Not enough," NBA players say. NBA players, who have been calling for justice for Taylor amid support for the wider Black Lives Matter movement, say the indictment isn't enough. "We feel like we've taken a step back, that we haven’t made the progress we were seeking," Los Angeles Lakers guard Danny Green tells the AP. "Our voices aren't being heard loud enough. But we're not going to stop. We're going to continue. We're going to continue fighting, we're going to continue to push, we're going to continue to use our voices."
(After the grand jury's decision was announced, riot police made arrests in Louisville.)

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