WKRN News 2

Former officer indicted for ‘wanton endangerment’ in Breonna Taylor case, but what does it mean?

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WKRN) — Protesters are angry that none of the officers involved in the Breonna Taylor shooting are actually charged in her death. Instead, a grand jury indicted former Louisville, Kentucky police officer Brett Hankison with three counts of ‘wanton endangerment’ on Wednesday.

Those three counts stem from bullets that penetrated a wall of Taylor’s home and entered a neighboring apartment occupied by a child, a man, and a pregnant woman.

Vanderbilt law school professor Chris Slobogin said that in this case, the grand jury agreed that Officer Hankison was aware that he could shoot, and possibly kill, innocent people before firing his weapon anyway into Taylor’s apartment.

“If he’s convicted of wanton endangerment, or reckless endangerment, in Kentucky, he could get a maximum of five years in prison. Of course, it’s up to a judge ultimately to decide what the punishment would be if a jury convicts him,” said Slobogin.

During Wednesday afternoon’s news conference, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said that the fatal shot actually came from another officer’s gun who was reportedly returning fire after Taylor’s boyfriend shot at police. According to Cameron, that use of force is justified and prevents them from pursuing charges in Taylor’s death.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of community unrest across Middle Tennessee.