September 24 Breonna Taylor news

By Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 1:57 AM ET, Fri September 25, 2020
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11:55 a.m. ET, September 24, 2020

Louisville police officers shot during protests expected to recover, chief says

From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph

Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Robert Schroeder speaks during a press conference on Thursday, September 24.
Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Robert Schroeder speaks during a press conference on Thursday, September 24. WLKY

Officer Robinson Desroches and Major Aubrey Gregory — the two Louisville Metro Police Department officers shot Wednesday evening during protests over the Breonna Taylor case — are expected to recover from their injuries, Mayor Greg Fischer and LMPD Chief Robert Schroeder said in a press conference Thursday morning.

Gregory, who joined the LMPD in 1999, is a commander of the police department’s special operations division and was leading efforts on the ground Wednesday evening, Schroder said. He was treated in hospital and released for a gunshot wound to hip.

He has done a "tremendous job the past several months as one of the leaders of our protest efforts. In fact, some say he may the bedrock of our protest efforts," the police chief said. 

Desroches joined the LMPD in March 2019 and had to undergo surgery after being shot in the abdomen Wednesday. 

"We are extremely fortunate that these two officers will recover,” Schroeder said.

11:29 a.m. ET, September 24, 2020

Evidence against indicted officer does not support charges, attorney says

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch

The attorney for former Louisville police detective Brett Hankison tells CNN the evidence in the case does not support the charges against his client.

Hankison was indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. The counts pertain to Hankison allegedly firing blindly into Breonna Taylor’s apartment through a door and window on March 13, with bullets entering an adjacent apartment and endangering those inside.

Attorney Stew Matthews told CNN his client plans to plead "not guilty" to the charges at his arraignment.

The other two officers who also fired shots during the botched March raid were not indicted, meaning no officer was charged with killing the 26-year-old Black emergency room technician and aspiring nurse.

Hankison surrendered on Wednesday afternoon, posted a $15,000 bond and was released, Matthews said. 

It is not immediately known when Hankison will make his first court appearance.

Matthews is no stranger to high-profile cases that involve police officers. He defended former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, who fatally shot a Black man during a traffic stop in 2015. 

After two mistrials in the Tensing case, prosecutors dismissed the murder indictment saying “there is not a likelihood of success at (a third) trial.

11:19 a.m. ET, September 24, 2020

Louisville police shooting suspect charged with assault and wanton endangerment of an officer

From CNN’s Tanika Gray and Elizabeth Joseph

26-year-old Larynzo Johnson has been arrested in connection with the shooting of two Louisville Metro Police Department officers, the Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections confirmed to CNN.

He has been charged with two counts of first degree assault of an officer and 14 counts of wanton endangerment of a police officer.

Johnson will be arraigned at 10a Friday.

CNN has been unsuccessful in identifying his legal representatives.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and LMPD Chief Robert Schroeder are expected to address the arrest in a press conference Thursday morning.

 

11:12 a.m. ET, September 24, 2020

Kentucky attorney general should post Taylor's case details online for public to read, governor says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks with CNN on Thursday, September 24.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks with CNN on Thursday, September 24. CNN

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear told CNN he has asked the state's Attorney General Daniel Cameron to post the details of the investigation and the grand jury proceedings online for the public to “see the facts themselves.”

“The challenge here is that the facts and the evidence have not been shared with the public. I trust the people of Kentucky with the truth. But they need to be able to see the truth, read the evidence, look over what grand jury may have seen or the investigators or the attorney general looked at,” he said.

“Let people read it. Put it out there. Trust people with the truth.”

More than six months after Taylor was shot to death when Louisville police officers broke down the door to her apartment while executing a warrant, a grand jury decided to indict one of the three officers involved on first-degree wanton endangerment charges. The charge applies to the risk put on Taylor's neighbors but does not aim to hold the officer responsible for her death.

Following the verdict, outrage boiled over into protests in cities across the US. Two officers were shot during the protests in Louisville, Kentucky.

Beshear said he spoke to one of the officers, who he said had a "very good" prognosis and was in good spirits, he told CNN. 

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11:00 a.m. ET, September 24, 2020

Mitch McConnell: "Peaceful protests honor the memory of Breonna Taylor"

From CNN's Ali Zaslav

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's statement on Breonna Taylor and protests that broke out overnight in Louisville.

McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, said this:

“Many Kentuckians have channeled their continuing grief and anger into a peaceful exercise of their First Amendment rights. But in Louisville last night, we saw more of the lawlessness, riots, and violence that has plagued American cities too often this year."

“Peaceful protests honor the memory of Breonna Taylor. Peaceful protests move us toward justice," the statement added.

10:12 a.m. ET, September 24, 2020

Kentucky attorney general "failed," Breonna Taylor's mother's attorney says 

From CNN's Roxanne Garcia

Lonita Baker, the attorney for Breonna Taylor’s mother, speaks during an interview on September 24.
Lonita Baker, the attorney for Breonna Taylor’s mother, speaks during an interview on September 24. CNN

Lonita Baker, the attorney for Breonna Taylor’s mother, said the grand jury’s result “does not make legal sense.”

“I've been a prosecutor, I’ve been a criminal defense attorney, and I have to question whether Attorney General Daniel Cameron actually even presented any questions as it relates to the murder of Breonna Taylor to the grand jury for the grand jury to make the determination or if his office unilaterally made that decision,” Baker said.

Baker also noted that officer Brett Hankison’s indictment was related to endangering the three White neighbors, not for endangering the Black neighbors upstairs or for killing Taylor, who is also Black. 

“Daniel Cameron failed. He needs to learn the law of self-defense in Kentucky, because as he stated it yesterday, he was off base,” she said. “One shot that Kenny Walker fired does not justify 32 shots being fired blindly into Breonna’s apartment without target acquisition.” 

Baker also said that it was “truly disheartening to see” that Cameron “did not even have the courage” to tell Taylor’s mom, Tamika Palmer, that the three counts did not relate to her daughter’s death.

10:08 a.m. ET, September 24, 2020

You might hear the term wanton endangerment a lot today. Here's what you need to know.

grand jury indicted former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree in connection with the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in March.

The charges drew immediate criticism from demonstrators who wanted more serious charges, as well as the arrests of the three officers involved.

Here's why: The charge applies to the risk put on Taylor's neighbors during the police raid on her home but does not hold the officer responsible for her death. 

Hankison is not charged with causing the death of Taylor. Rather, the police department said, he "wantonly and blindly" fired into her apartment — shooting 10 rounds.

The charge is a Class D felony, the lowest of four classes of felonies. The maximum sentence is five years; the minimum is one year.

If convicted, Hankison faces five years imprisonment for each count, Attorney General Daniel Cameron said at a news conference Wednesday. A Class A felony — for example, a murder charge — carries a sentence of up to 50 years or life, and a minimum sentence of 20 years.

1:26 p.m. ET, September 24, 2020

Attorney General did not tell Taylor's mother that charges were not in relation to her death, attorney says

From CNN’s Mark Morales

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron speaks during a press conference in Frankfort, Kentucky on September 23, following the return of a grand jury investigation into the death of Breonna Taylor.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron speaks during a press conference in Frankfort, Kentucky on September 23, following the return of a grand jury investigation into the death of Breonna Taylor. Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Attorney General Daniel Cameron didn’t tell Breonna Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, the wanton endangerment charges weren’t in relation to Taylor, family attorney Sam Aguiar told CNN.

CNN has reached out to the attorney general's office for comment.

The charge applies to the risk put on Taylor's neighbors during the police raid on her home, but does not hold the officer responsible for her death. First-degree wanton endangerment is a Class D felony, the lowest of four classes of felonies. The maximum sentence is five years; the minimum is one year.

Aguiar said Wednesday that Palmer learned about the results of the grand jury indictment just two minutes before Cameron made his announcement, even after It was expected the family would have a heads-up on the decision.

“She had to drive all the way down there to be told this, despite two advanced requests from me to not force her to drive down only to learn no indictments,” Aguiar said. “I told them that would be hell for her.”  
8:32 a.m. ET, September 24, 2020

Family of Breonna Taylor wants grand jury transcript released, attorney says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Ben Crump, attorney for Breonna Taylor’s family, said that the family is “devastated” and “outraged” after a grand jury indicted a former Louisville police officer on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree in connection with her fatal shooting.

No officer was charged directly with Taylor's death.

“Right now, it appears to many people that this was a sham proceeding, that there was an attempt to exonerate these officers more so than to hold them accountable,” Crump said on CNN's "New Day." 

Crump said Kentucky Attorney General David Cameron called Taylor’s family about 10 minutes before his public announcement.

The family wants Cameron to release the transcript of the grand jury proceedings to the public, according to Crump.

Crump said that he and two other attorneys for the family spoke with 12 neighbors who say they didn’t hear police announce themselves before they broke down the door to her apartment while executing a warrant. Those 12 neighbors were “apparently not” presented to the grand jury, he said.

The FBI is investigating to see if there were civil rights violations that occurred against Breonna Taylor next, according to Crump.

Yesterday’s announcement sparked protests in numerous cities across the US.

“Our legal system is trying to tell us it was justified and it is OK. Well, it is not OK. Black women's lives matter and Breonna Taylor's life matters,” Crump said. 

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