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Grand jury indicts police officer in relation to Breonna Taylor's death
23 September 2020, 18:34 | Updated: 23 September 2020, 19:07
A grand jury has indicted one officer on criminal charges six months after Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by police in Kentucky.
The jury presented its decision against fired officer Brett Hankison Wednesday to a judge in Louisville, where the shooting took place.
Neither the grand jury nor the presiding judge elaborated on the charges.
Taylor was shot multiple times by officers who burst into her home on March 13 during a narcotics investigation. No drugs were found in her home.
Protesters across the country have demanded justice for Taylor and other black people killed by police in recent months.
State Attorney General Daniel Cameron scheduled a news conference in the capital, Frankfort, to discuss the grand jury's decision.
Protesters have consistently pressured him to act, and celebrities and athletes had joined them in calling on the attorney general to charge the police who shot Ms Taylor.
At one point, demonstrators converged on his house and were charged with crimes for trying to intimidate the prosecutor.
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.
Mr 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.
Before charges were brought, Mr Hankison was fired from the city's police department on June 23.
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 Ms Taylor's apartment in March.
Mr Hankison, Sergeant Johnathan Mattingly, Officer Myles Cosgrove and the detective who sought the warrant, Joshua Jaynes, were placed on administrative reassignment after the shooting.
Ms Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, opened fire when police burst in, hitting Mr Mattingly. Mr Walker was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, but prosecutors later dropped the charge.
Mr Walker told police he heard knocking but did not know who was coming into the home and fired in self-defence.
On September 15, the city settled a lawsuit against the three officers brought by Ms Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, agreeing to pay her 12 million US dollars and enact police reforms.
Protesters in Louisville and across the country have demanded justice for Ms Taylor and other black people killed by police in recent months.
The release in late May of a 911 call by Ms Taylor's boyfriend marked the beginning of days of protests in Louisville, fuelled by her shooting and the violent death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.
Several prominent African American celebrities including Oprah and Beyonce have joined those urging that the officers be charged.