The Officers Who Shot and Killed Breonna Taylor Were Not Charged, Sparking Outrage

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Ethan Lopez, Staff Writer

On March 18th, a group of three police officers busted into Breonna Taylor and Kenneth Walker’s apartment under suspicion of drug distribution, filed under a “no-knock” warrant signed by a local circuit judge. Using a battering ram to gain entry, one officer was struck by a bullet in the leg from Walker out of fear for his and his girlfriend’s lives . The police quickly fired back, emptying 20 rounds into the apartment. Walker remained unscathed, however Taylor was found dead on the scene, having been shot 5 times by the officers. 

This incident sparked nationwide anger, with protests and media attention growing more and more as subsequent cases similar to this one popped up, including the deaths of George Floyd and Jacob Blake. Some may say her death was the start of the movement against police brutality, as it was one of the first and most covered cases of police brutality this year, with each subsequent case adding to the movement. 

On September 23rd, a grand jury decided that no crimes were committed by the three officers who were involved, with the sole exception of former detective Brett Hankinson, who  was indicted with three counts of wanton endangerment. This is due to the fact that he was, reportedly, recklessly firing through Taylor’s apartment window, endangering a nearby family. To the dismay of her family and protestors, none of them were held accountable for Breonna Taylor’s death. 

Despite the decision, the city of Louisville paid Taylor’s mother a 12 million dollar settlement to work on reforming the police department and for reparations. On top of that, the city’s metro council all voted to pass a law banning “no-knock” search warrants, being named after Taylor . Although Taylor’s death is considered by many to be unlawful and unjustified, her legacy will live on as an against police brutality, leading to reforms in her own state and around the nation.