KEY POINTS

  • Biden encouraged Louisville protesters to demonstrate peacefully 
  • Hundreds gathered in cities across the US following the grand jury's decision on Breonna Taylor's death
  • The Kentucky grand jury did not indict any police officer for the victim's death

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden urged Louisville, Ky., protesters to keep their demonstrations peaceful following Wednesday's grand jury decision not to charge police officers for Breonna Taylor’s death. 

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Louisville following a Kentucky grand jury’s decision only to indict one officer for endangering Breonna Taylor’s neighbors during the botched March raid. 

In a report by CNN, the jury indicted former detective Brett Hankinson for three counts of wanton endangerment after stray bullets entered an adjacent apartment housing a pregnant woman, a man, and a child.

 

Two other officers who also fired shots that night were not indicted, which means no officer was charged with killing the 26-year-old Black aspiring nurse.

The former vice president spoke to reporters in North Carolina on Wednesday evening. During the interview, Biden said he has yet to receive enough information about the Taylor case, but he encouraged people to protest peacefully, the Associated Press reported. 

“Do not sully her memory or her mother’s by engaging in any violence. It’s totally inappropriate for that to happen,” Biden said. “She wouldn’t want it, nor would her mother, so I hope they do that.”

The grand jury’s decision comes more than half a year after Taylor, an emergency room technician, was shot to death when Louisville officers entered her apartment to serve a no-knock warrant around midnight on March 13. 

According to BBC, the narcotics officers used a battering ram to take her front door off its hinges and raid her home. However, no drugs were found on her property. 

The “no-knock” warrant allowed police to enter a home without warning. The officers said they had knocked and announced themselves before entering Taylor’s house, but the victim’s family and neighbors disputed the claim. 

At the time of the raid, the 26-year-old was sleeping in bed with boyfriend Kenneth Walker. When they heard the commotion, Walker—a licensed gun owner—fired one shot from his pistol in belief that the home was being broken into robbers. 

The bullet from Walker’s pistol struck officer Jonathan Mattingly in the leg, prompting fellow officers Brett Hankinson and Myles Cosgrove to return fire and shoot more than 20 rounds. Walker was not wounded during the incident, however, Taylor was hit multiple times and died in the hallway of her home. 

Police reports following the event listed Taylor’s injuries as “none.” It also said the officers did not use force to enter the apartment, despite having used a battering ram. The three law enforcement officers who entered the victim’s home were not wearing body cameras. 

A T-shirt worn during a protest on July 12, 2020 in St. Paul, Minnesota, pays homage to Breonna Taylor, who died when police executing a search warrant burst into her apartment and exchanged fire with her boyfriend A T-shirt worn during a protest on July 12, 2020 in St. Paul, Minnesota, pays homage to Breonna Taylor, who died when police executing a search warrant burst into her apartment and exchanged fire with her boyfriend Photo: AFP / Amanda Sabga