Breonna Taylor's neighbors 'pleasantly surprised,' but 'disappointed' in grand jury decision
Breonna Taylor case: Why the grand jury got it right
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A Kentucky attorney representing Breonna Taylor’s neighbors whose apartment was also fired upon on that fateful March night said his clients were “pleasantly surprised,” but also “disappointed” in the grand jury’s decision in the case.
Chelsey Napper and Cody Etherton, Taylor’s Louisville neighbors, “were hoping that [the] other officers would be charged, of course, with shooting into their apartment and they also were hoping that the officers would be charged in Breonna Taylor's murder,” the pair’s attorney, Brandon Lawrence, told Fox News on Thursday.
Nonetheless, he said, “Some sort of justice is being levied at people responsible, the person that's responsible … That's what my clients were anticipating and hoping for and praying for.”
In May, Napper and Etherton were two of three people who sued Officers Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly, accusing them of disregarding human life by spraying gunfire into Napper’s apartment, next door to Taylor’s.
Hankison was charged on Friday with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots that went into another home with people inside. But jurors didn’t indict any of the officers on charges directly related to Taylor’s death. The jury relied on evidence presented to it by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
Officer Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly both remain on administrative leave from the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department, officials said Thursday. Both were involved in the March 13 raid that ended with the death of Breonna Taylor. (Louisville Metro Police Department)
The decision has sparked renewed protests.
Napper was pregnant and her 5-year-old son was also at the home at the time, Lawrence confirmed.
Earlier in the day, Lawrence told local WFPL News that he and his clients “believe that everyone on the scene played a role in what happened that night, and they should have to account for what they did and have justice administered.”
Taylor was a 26-year-old emergency medical technician who lived with her sister in an apartment in Louisville. She and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had settled in to watch a movie in her bedroom on the night of March 13 when police executed a no-knock warrant using a battering ram. Walker fired at the officers, thinkinng they were intruders. The officers fired at least 20 times, including eight bullets that struck and killed Taylor.
On Thursday, Lawrence later told Fox News the Louisville Metro Police Department’s execution of the warrant was “poorly planned and poorly executed.”
“It resulted in one death, and it resulted also in the officer getting shot it,” he said, “and it also resulted in traumatic experience for neighbors.”
Cameron said Wednesday it is unlikely there will be any further criminal charges coming from his investigation from the night of the shooting. Lawyers for Taylor’s family had called for a minimum of manslaughter charges. Cameron said his team “walked the grand jury through every homicide offense and then the grand jury was the one that made the ultimate decision.”
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Federal officials are continuing to investigate whether the officers committed any civil rights violations. That probe is also investigating a fourth officer, Joshua Jaynes, who sought the warrant for Taylor’s home. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer also said Louisville police are conducting a professional standards investigation to look into if any officers involved in the raid that night need further training or discipline.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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