Neither the grand jury nor the presiding judge gave details about the charges.
Immediately after the announcement, people expressed frustration on social media that the grand jury did not do more.
Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Taylor’s family, tweeted that the charges involved “NOTHING for the murder of Breonna Taylor. This is outrageous and offensive!”
At a news conference, state Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Hankison and the two other officers who entered Taylor’s apartment announced themselves before entering the apartment.
“According to Kentucky law, the use of force by [Officers Jonathan] Mattingly and [Myles] Cosgrove was justified to protect themselves. This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Miss Breonna Taylor’s death.”
Regarding the disappointment by those who wanted criminal charges brought in Taylor’s death, he remarked, “The decision before my office as the special prosecutor in this case was not to decide if the loss of Ms. Taylor’s life was a tragedy. The answer to that is unequivocally yes.”
A Republican, Cameron is the state’s first Black state attorney general. His was one of 20 names on President Trump’s list to fill a future Supreme Court vacancy.
Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by officers who entered her home during a drug investigation. No drugs were found inside.
Hankison was fired from the city’s police department June 23. A termination letter sent to him by interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said the White officer had violated procedures by showing “extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he shot 10 rounds of gunfire into Taylor’s apartment.
Hankison, Sergeant Johnathan Mattingly, Officer Myles Cosgrove and the detective who sought the warrant, Joshua Jaynes, were placed on administrative reassignment after the shooting.
Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, opened fire when police burst in, hitting Mattingly. Walker was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, but prosecutors later dropped the charge.
Walker told police he heard knocking but didn’t know who was coming into the home and fired in self-defense.
On September 15, the city settled a lawsuit against the three officers brought by Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, agreeing to pay her $12 million and reform the police department.
Protesters in Louisville and across the country have demanded justice for Taylor and other Black people killed by police in recent months. The release in late May of a 911 call by Taylor’s boyfriend marked the beginning of days of protests in Louisville, fueled by her shooting and the violent death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25.
Several prominent African American celebrities, including Oprah and Beyoncé, have joined those urging that the officers be charged.