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Grand Jury Charges 1 Louisville Police Officer Involved in Breonna Taylor Shooting With 'Wanton Endangerment'
AG Cameron is right that officers who come under fire are justified in defending themselves. He's right that this is the state of the law, but the laws and practices of the stupid drug war created the danger in the first place....
Six months after Taylor's death, the grand jury declined to charge two of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers involved in the deadly raid but indicted former LMPD Detective Brett Hankison on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. The charges are not directly related to Taylor's death, but rather for endangering her neighbors with wild shots.
"According to Kentucky law, the use of force[…] was justified to protect themselves," Republican Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said at a press conference announcing the charges. "This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Ms. Breonna Taylor's death."
Lawyers for Taylor's family say she was asleep in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, on the night of March 13, when LMPD officers serving a no-knock narcotics warrant broke down their door with a battering ram. Walker, a registered gun owner, shot at the officers believing it was a home invasion, hitting one officer in the leg. The officers fired back and hit Taylor eight times, killing her. No drugs were found.
Reason's Jacob Sullum wrote this June that the reckless raid once again showed the moral bankruptcy and fatal consequences of the drug war: "The problem is the attempt to forcibly prevent Americans from consuming arbitrarily proscribed intoxicants, which is fundamentally immoral because it sanctions violence as a response to peaceful conduct that violates no one's rights. That problem cannot be solved by tinkering at the edges of drug prohibition."