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Dublin: 24°C Friday 12 August 2022

Suspect in custody after two police officers shot in US protests against Breonna Taylor death

A grand jury indicted a police officer for shooting into neighbouring apartments, but did not charge him over Taylor’s death.

Protesters march on Gallatin Ave past the East Nashville Library on the way downtown in Nashville
Protesters march on Gallatin Ave past the East Nashville Library on the way downtown in Nashville
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

A SUSPECT IS in custody after two police officers were shot in Kentucky as protests against the death of black woman Breonna Taylor reignite across the US.

Interim Louisville Police chief Robert Schroeder said one of the victims was stable and undergoing surgery, while the other was alert and stable. Both were expected to recover, he added.

It comes hours after a Kentucky grand jury indicted a single police officer for shooting into neighbouring apartments, but did not move forward with charges against any officers for their role in Taylor’s death.

A grand jury announced that Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in connection to the police raid on the night of March 13.

It sparked demonstrations in downtown Louisville, where an Associated Press reporter saw National Guard members and armoured military vehicles while police in riot gear fired flash bangs and formed a line at Jefferson Square, which has been at the centre of protests.

Protests quickly erupted elsewhere as well: Demonstrators marched through the streets of New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia and the nation’s capital.

“It’s a volcano built up and now it’s exploded,” said Dekevion Gause, who sat beside a Louisville park memorial to Taylor made of flowers, paintings and tiny grave markers representing Black people killed by police.

Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by officers who entered her home using a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation.

The warrant used to search her home was connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside.

The use of no-knock warrants has since been banned by Louisville’s Metro Council.

Cameron’s office had been receiving materials from the Louisville Police Department’s public integrity unit while they tried to determine whether state charges would be brought against the three officers involved, he said.

racial-injustice-breonna-taylor Undated photo of Brett Hankison Source: Louisville Metro Police Department via PA Images

Before charges were brought, Hankison was fired from the city’s police department on 23 June.

A termination letter sent to him by interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said the white officer had violated procedures by showing “extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he “wantonly and blindly” shot 10 rounds of gunfire into Taylor’s apartment in March.

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Hankison, Sergeant Johnathan Mattingly, Officer Myles Cosgrove and the detective who sought the warrant, Joshua Jaynes, were placed on administrative reassignment after the shooting.

Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, opened fire when police burst in, hitting Mattingly. Walker was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, but prosecutors later dropped the charge.

Walker told police he heard knocking but did not know who was coming into the home and fired in self-defence.

On 15 September, the city settled a lawsuit against the three officers brought by Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, agreeing to pay her $12 million and enact police reforms.

Protesters in Louisville and across the country have demanded justice for Taylor and other black people killed by police in recent months.

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