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Black Lives Matter Cleveland releases statement following Breonna Taylor grand jury decision

"We struggle to understand why a society and government who repeatedly deny our humanity expects peace and diplomacy when peace and diplomacy never gets us justice."

CLEVELAND — On Wednesday, a grand jury recommended three counts of first degree wanton endangerment for former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison in the Breonna Taylor case. No other officers involved were indicted.

RELATED: Here's what Wanton Endangerment means as defined by Kentucky law

Taylor was shot and killed in her home on March 13 when Louisville Metro police officers served a no-knock warrant related to a narcotics investigation.

The three officers identified in Taylor’s death are Brett Hankison, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove. All were placed on administrative reassignment following the shooting. Hankison has since been fired for his actions the night of Taylor's death. Mattingly and Cosgrove remain on administrative reassignment.

On the heels of the grand jury's decision, Black Lives Matter Cleveland has issued the following statement: 

"Only one officer was charged in the incident of Breonna Taylor. We say the incident, because Breonna' death is not even mentioned in the indictment but neighbors are . The incident is an issue; but her death does not rise to the level of importance that warrants prosecution.

Black Lives Matter Cleveland wishes to acknowledge FACTS in the murder of Breonna Taylor and what has followed after her death:

A "no knock" warrant was executed on the residence of Ms.Taylor, and law enforcement fully cognizant of the fact that when forcing entry into a residence there is an element of surprise, especially during the night.

Law enforcement was met with force as occupants attempted to protect against a perceived break in, and rather than take cover and regroup, they wanted revenge for an officer down first and to give and receive answers later.

They got their revenge….

Officer Brett Hankison did recklessly fire his sidearm into the window of Breonna Taylor without a target in sight, and without regard for other residents in the apartment building.

Also a fact is that officer John Mattingly who was part of that execution believes nothing was done wrong.

And the last facts to be noted are as follows:

$12 million dollars in monetary compensation is not justice.

Random drug testing of officers is not justice but it's long overdue and it is not enough to protect and to prevent.

Nationwide knee jerk reactions of politicians to ban choke holds and think that these gestures mean anything are nothing more than insulting.

In this case, change looks like mandatory bodycams being worn. It looks like officers and prosecutors having gag orders regarding police involved shootings because of jury tainting; and most assuredly it looks like getting rid of qualified immunity and binding arbitration if we can expect to see officers held accountable.

Black Lives Matter Cleveland stands in solidarity with the Family of Breonna Taylor and all others who are traumatized and grieve this senseless loss.

We struggle to understand why a society and government who repeatedly deny our humanity expects peace and diplomacy when peace and diplomacy never gets us justice."

The group plans to make a public service announcement this evening at 6:30 p.m. 


Posted by Black Lives Matter Cleveland on Wednesday, September 23, 2020