crime and punishment

Neither Jonathan Mattingly nor Myles Cosgrove were charged with Breonna Taylor’s death: Here’s why

Jonathan Mattingly, 47, Brett Hankison, 44, and Myles Cosgrove, 42, were the Louisville Metro Police Department officers who raided Breonna Taylor‘s apartment in Louisville, Kentucky, United States on March 13, 2020. None of the ops were charged directly in the death of the African-American emergency room technician.

On June 23, 2020, the LMPD fired Hankison. He “wantonly and blindly” fired 10 rounds that “created a substantial danger of death and serious injury” to Taylor and the three occupants of the apartment next to hers when he, Mattingly and Cosgrove used a no-knock warrant to enter her apartment, LMPD chief Robert J. Schroeder explained.

During a grand jury proceeding on September 23, 2020, Judge Annie O’Connell announced that a warrant will be issued for the arrest of Hankison, who was indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for threatening the lives of Taylor’s neighbors. However, he was not charged with firing at or killing her and neither was Cosgrove nor Mattingly.

 

When Hankison, Cosgrove and Mattingly raided Taylor’s apartment, she and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, 27, was asleep. The couple thought they were being broken into since the three LMPD cops were not in uniform.

A licensed gun owner, Walker grabbed a gun and fired in self-defense, hitting Mattingly in the leg. In response, Hankison, Cosgrove and Mattingly blindly fired at least 22 gunshots into the building, some of which entered other apartments.

In May 2020,  Taylor’s neighbor Chesey Napper, who was pregnant and had a child in her home, sued Hankison, Cosgrove and Mattingly, claiming that their gunshots shattered her sliding glass door and struck objects in her living room, dining room, kitchen and hallway. According to the lawsuit, one of the bullets flew inches past the head of a man named Cody Etherton while he was in the hallway of her apartment.

Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron, 34, explained that the grand jury agreed to the results of their investigation, which indicated that Mattingly and Cosgrove were “justified in their return of deadly fire after having been fired upon” by Walker. There is “nothing conclusive to say” that Taylor was hit by any of Hankison’s bullets, USA Today quoted Cameron as saying.

Cameron became the 51st attorney general of Kentucky on January 6, 2020, making him the first African-American person to hold the position. Donald Trump, 74, endorsed him in the Republican primary.

“I understand that Miss Breonna Taylor’s death has become a part of a national story in conversation,” CNN quoted Cameron as saying. “We must also remember the facts and the collection of evidence in this case are different than cases elsewhere in the country. Each is unique and cannot be compared.”

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