September 23 Breonna Taylor news

By Fernando Alfonso III, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha, Mike Hayes, Jessie Yeung, Tara John and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 9:01 p.m. ET, September 24, 2020
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2:13 p.m. ET, September 23, 2020

Kentucky attorney general: Other officers on the scene were "justified in their use of force"

Following the indictment of one officer involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the other two officers on the scene were "justified in their use of force."

Moments ago, a Jefferson County grand jury charged former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison with three counts of wanton endangerment of the first degree.

Officers Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly were not indicted. Cameron said their actions the night Taylor died were justified after Kenneth Walker, Taylor's boyfriend, fired first.

"Our investigation found that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their use of force after having been fired upon by Kenneth Walker," Cameron said.

An FBI crime lab determined Cosgrove fired the shot that killed Taylor. "Six bullets struck Ms. Taylor and... only one shot was fatal," Cameron said, adding she would have died within "a few seconds to two minutes."

Watch here:

1:58 p.m. ET, September 23, 2020

Kentucky attorney general: My job was "to put emotions aside and investigate the facts"

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron CNN

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron began his announcement on the Breonna Taylor case by again issuing condolences to her family.

"Every day this family wakes up to the realization that someone they loved is no longer with them," he said.

He said the pain many across the country feel is "understandable."

"In this case, a human life was lost. We can not forget that," Cameron said.

However, Cameron said his job required him to "investigate the facts."

"My job as the special prosecutor in this case was to put emotions aside and investigate the facts to determine if criminal violations of state law resulted in the loss of Ms. Taylor's life," he added.

Moments ago, a Jefferson County grand jury has charged former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison, one of the three officers involved in Taylor's case, with three counts of wanton endangerment of the first degree.

Watch:

2:18 p.m. ET, September 23, 2020

Crowd marches in Louisville after grand jury announcement

rowd of demonstrators started marching in downtown Louisville after a grand jury announced that one of the three officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor was indicted.

CNN's Shimon Prokupecz, who was on the scene, said they were waiting for the attorney general's news conference, "so he could explain himself and how he proceeded with this case, why he chose the route he chose."

"The most important point, I think, is that the people here are not happy with this decision by the attorney general, or this decision by the grand jury, which did not go far enough," Prokupecz said.

He noted that there was no police presence.

"I think the police sort of have said that they were going to allow protesters to come to this area, to peacefully protest," Prokupecz said.

1:39 p.m. ET, September 23, 2020

Taylor family attorney: This is "not fully what we wanted" but it "brings us closer to justice"

Ben Crump, attorney for the family of Breonna Taylor, tweeted following the announcement that one of the officers involved had been indicted in the case.

Crump said the announcement that former officer Brett Hankinson was indicted on wanton endangerment was "not fully what we wanted," but added "this brings us closer to justice" for Taylor.

Read his tweet:

1:35 p.m. ET, September 23, 2020

Louisville police officer indicted in Breonna Taylor's case

Former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison
Former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison LMPD

A Jefferson County grand jury has charged former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison, one of the three officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor, with three counts of wanton endangerment of the first degree.

Hankison was fired from the department more than three months after Taylor's death. He was informed in a letter signed by the police chief that his employment with the department "is terminated," effective immediately.

Hankison violated standard operating procedure when his “actions displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he “wantonly and blindly fired ten (10) rounds” into Taylor’s apartment, then Police Chief Robert Schroeder wrote in the letter.

“The result of your action seriously impedes the Department’s goal of providing the citizens of our city with the most professional law enforcement agency possible,” he wrote. “I cannot tolerate this type of conduct by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Your conduct demands your termination.”

1:18 p.m. ET, September 23, 2020

How cities across the South are bracing for the Breonna Taylor annoucement

From CNN's Devon Sayers, Jason Morris and Gregory Lemos 

Cities across the American South are on alert as Louisville and the nation wait on the announcement of a decision in the Breonna Taylor investigation.    

In Atlanta, police officer Anthony W. Grant, the Atlanta Police Department is "monitoring the Breonna Taylor court decision closely and we are prepared to make adjustments as necessary."  

The city of Atlanta had a number of protests, some turned violent and destructive, this summer. One incident in the downtown area resulted in six Atlanta officers being charged with using excessive force. The unrest lead to Gov. Brian Kemp sending in the National Guard to help restore calm.  

Meanwhile, in Little Rock, Arkansas, Lt. Casey Clark, public affairs commander of the city's police department, told CNN that while Little Rock is not "moving barricades in and closing streets down like in Louisville," they "are monitoring the situation." 

"We have asked our personnel to have situational awareness and be prepared to come in if needed, if not already on duty. Our Department maintains on-going plans/procedures to deal with both protests and civil unrest," Casey told CNN Wednesday.  

And in Knoxville, Tennessee, police are monitoring the decision as well.   

"The Knoxville Police Department is and will continue to monitor the situation, and we are prepared to respond appropriately to maintain public safety," Knoxville Police Department Communications Manager Scott Erland told CNN Wednesday.  

CNN has reached out to governors, mayors, and police departments across the regional South but has only heard back from what is reported above.  

12:55 p.m. ET, September 23, 2020

Kentucky commonwealth attorney supports peaceful protests, but will step in when necessary

From CNN’s Mark Morales

Kentucky's Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine told CNN that his office supports peaceful protests, but will get involved if someone intentionally causes destruction of property, someone uses a weapon which could constitute wonton endangerment or is involved in an assault.

“That crosses the line from peaceful protest to violence,” Wine said Wednesday. “We owe it to our community as police and as prosecutors to protect the rest of the community against violence.”

“But the rest of it, people protesting and marching demanding justice, I’m all for it. Let them march. Let them have that opportunity. Let the people in leadership positions understand the depth of their feelings and their concerns," Wine said.

In recent months, most of the protesters have been charged with misdemeanor offenses such as obstruction of traffic or disorderly conduct and those cases were handled by the county attorney, Mike O’Connell, who has dismissed a lot of them, according Wine.

1:03 p.m. ET, September 23, 2020

Louisville mayor closes downtown government buildings ahead of Breonna Taylor announcement

A memorial to Breonna Taylor, placed in Jefferson Square Park, is photographed in downtown Louisville, Kentucky on Wednesday, September 23, as the city anticipates of the results of a grand jury inquiry into the death of Breonna Taylor.
A memorial to Breonna Taylor, placed in Jefferson Square Park, is photographed in downtown Louisville, Kentucky on Wednesday, September 23, as the city anticipates of the results of a grand jury inquiry into the death of Breonna Taylor. Jeff Dean/AFP/Getty Images

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced that some government building in the city's downtown area will be closed the rest of today and tomorrow as the city prepares for an expected announcement in the Breonna Taylor case.

"And I'm asking downtown area businesses to allow employees to work remotely as well whenever possible," he said at a news conference.

These are the buildings that will be closing, according to the mayor:

  • Metro Hall and its Annex
  • City Hall and its Annex
  • Fiscal Court
  • The Sinking Fund
  • Louisville Metro Police Department headquarters
  • Metro Development and Metro Safe on South Fifth Street
  • Youth Detention Services
  • The Alexander Building on West Main
  • The Downtown Wellness Center on First Street

Taylor's case, along with other high-profile killings of Black people by police, have sparked protests in Louisville and across the US over racial injustice.

12:50 p.m. ET, September 23, 2020

Louisville police chief calls for people to "peacefully express themselves"

Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder
Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder WDRB

Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder spoke ahead of an expected grand jury announcement in the Breonna Taylor case.

Schroeder detailed various street closures that are happening in Louisville today and said that all vacation days and off days have been canceled for police this week.

The chief also confirmed that the Kentucky National Guard has been activated.

In anticipation of demonstrations in the city, the chief called for anyone gathering to "peacefully express themselves."

"Our hope is that people will lawfully and peacefully express themselves. We will not tolerate any violence or destruction of property. Let's all be safe. Then come together and work on the challenges we face as a city and as a nation," he said.