Grand jury says officers will not be charged for fatally shooting Breonna Taylor

No officers were charged in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor. Former officer Brett Hankison was indicted on wanton endangerment charges by a grand jury.


The grand jury investigating the Breonna Taylor case in Louisville presented its report to Jefferson County Circuit Judge Annie O’Connell on Wednesday afternoon, and none of the officers involved will face charges in Taylor's killing.

Former Detective Brett Hankison was indicted on 3 charges of wanton endangerment.

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove of Louisville Metro Police Department did not face any charges.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Wednesday the FBI is still investigating the case.

Taylor was killed in March during a raid on her apartment conducted by plainclothes narcotics officers. A no-knock warrant was approved to be used at her address, which became a controversial piece of the story.

A battering ram was used to enter her home after midnight and the officers were met with gunfire from her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

Police say three of the officers at the scene, Mattingly, Cosgrove and Hankison, returned fire, and Taylor was shot multiple times to her death in her hallway. Bullets were found throughout the apartment and some went into a neighboring home that had people inside.

Mattingly received a gunshot wound to the leg. A bullet hit his femoral artery.

Those officers were immediately put on administrative leave the day of the shooting and Hankison was later fired from the department for misconduct that night.

Right after the decision, protesters brought cases of water to “Injustice Square,” the Louisville park where people have gathered to demand justice for Taylor. Some began preparing food.

Later, police in the city cordoned off a street with yellow tape, and officers in protective gear could be seen handcuffing some people. Some scuffles broke out, and police ordered a group that broke off from the protests to disperse, warning that chemical agents might be used if they didn't.

Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, urged Cameron to post online all the evidence and facts that can be released without affecting the charges filed.

“Those that are currently feeling frustration, feeling hurt, they deserve to know more,” he said. “They deserve to see the facts for themselves. And I believe that the ability to process those facts helps everybody.”

Breonna Taylor
Breonna Taylor 

As news of Taylor's death spread, calls for justice in her case joined those already happening for George Floyd and other Black people killed by police. Protests have continued for over 100 days in the streets of Louisville, with many demanding the trio of officers face murder charges.

The investigation has been complicated by the fact that there is allegedly no body camera footage available. At the time, plainclothes narcotics officers with LMPD were not required to wear them – a policy that has since changed, and later became a factor in the firing of former police chief Steve Conrad.

Both Walker and Mattingly said in interviews that while a no-knock warrant was issued, knocking did occur. However, they differ on whether police verbally identified themselves before entering the apartment.

Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine was asked back in May, after filing a motion to dismiss the case against Walker with prejudice, whether he thought it was possible no one would face charges in connection with Taylor's death.

Then, he said, "What separated these two parties was a door. And it's very possible that there was no criminal activity on either side of that door because people couldn't hear what the other party was saying."

On Tuesday, Mattingly sent an email to fellow officers saying that he and the others "did the legal, moral, ethical thing that night."

More on the investigation process

Cameron's office took the case in May after Wine recused himself due to his involvement in Walker's case.

Early on, Cameron said he would not provide a timeline for when he'd decide whether to pursue charges and staunchly maintained that position throughout.

Without video of what happened, Cameron said the ballistics report from the FBI, which is conducting its own investigation, was critical. About a month ago, on Aug. 30, he said the report had been received.

Sister station WLKY sought out the personnel files for the officers involved. Here's what they found:

Professionally, Mattingly joined LMPD in 2000 and was promoted to narcotics in 2016, according to his personnel file. He's earned 18 letters of commendation and was cited for violation of professional standards in 2017.

Cosgrove was promoted to narcotics in 2016 after joining the department in 2005. He has earned 10 letters of commendation. He was suspended twice without pay in 2010 and 2013 for failing to appear in court. In December 2006, Cosgrove was placed on paid administrative leave following an officer-involved shooting. He was cleared to return to duty in May 2007.

Hankison joined LMPD in January 2003 and was promoted to narcotics in 2016. He's earned 43 letters of commendation and was given the exceptional merit award in 2013. Hankison was in a car accident in 2009 while driving an LMPD vehicle off-duty.

Following his involvement in Taylor's shooting, previous sexual assault allegations came to light, prompting an investigation.

Video: Louisville Urban League president gives emotional reaction to Breonna Taylor indictment

Breonna Taylor was 26 years old when she was shot and killed at her Louisville apartment on March 13. Taylor, who was once employed as an EMT, was working as an ER technician at the time of her death.

After her death, a report compiled by LMPD alleged Taylor was still in contact with her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, who was one of the main suspects of the drug raid.

No drugs or money were found in Taylor’s apartment.

Calls for justice for Taylor have reverberated nationwide. The phrase “say her name” became a call to action to bring awareness to her memory and the investigation into her death.

Taylor is survived by her mother and sister, Tamika and Ju’Niyah Palmer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.