Protesters march through the streets after a judge announced the charges brought by a grand jury against Detective Brett Hankison, one of three police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in New York City on September 23, 2020.
Protesters march through the streets after a judge announced the charges brought by a grand jury against Detective Brett Hankison, one of three police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in New York City on September 23, 2020.
Photo: AFP

In March 2020, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was shot fatally by three Louisville Metro Police Department officers. As the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum following the death of George Floyd, many have been demanding justice for others who have become victims of racial bias. Taylor, a medical worker had been killed in her home - a chilling story that drew international condemnation.

The narcotics officers had entered her home acting on a "no knock" warrant. While there exists conflicting accounts - with the police report clashing with the details provided by her family and neighbours - it would seem that her boyfriend had fired one shot of his pistol fearing that people were trying to break into the house. Officials say that this bullet struck one of the police officers in the leg, later requiring surgery. The police response was quick and rather brutal, with over 20 rounds reportedly being fired. At the end of this, while her boyfriend was not wounded, Taylor was dead.

It must be mentioned that no drugs were ultimately found on her property. Her family would go on to sue the city for her death, eventually reaching a $ 12 million settlement. But they have also demanded criminal charges against the officials involved.

But while the Black Lives Matter protests have continued for several months at this point, there was fresh outrage as a Kentucky grand jury brought no charges against the Louisville police. And while two of the involved officers have not been charged, the third has not been charged in connection with Taylor's death, but with "wanton endangerment" for firing into her neighbour's apartment. Speaking about the two officers who had not been charged, prosecutors said they were justified in using force to protect themselves after they faced gunfire from her boyfriend.

"How ironic and typical that the only charges brought in Breonna Taylor’s case were for shots fired into the apartment of a white neighbor, while no charges were brought for the shots fired at Bre or into her Black neighbor’s apartment," tweeted the family's attorney, Ben Crump.

Police said that two Louisville, Kentucky, police officers have been shot and wounded during protests over a lack of charges in Breonna Taylor's death. Interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said Wednesday night that one person was in custody. He says one officer was alert and stable and the other is undergoing surgery but is also stable. He says the officers had gone to investigate reports of gunfire when they were shot. He says they're both expected to recover.

The recent Kentucky shooting has drawn a reaction from President Donald Trump who took to Twitter stating that he was praying for the officials. While his comment made no mention of the protests or of Taylor, he tweeted that the "Federal Government stands behind you and is ready to help".

"Spoke to @GovAndyBeshear and we are prepared to work together, immediately upon request!" he added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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