NATIONAL NEWS

Officer Charged In Breonna Taylor Case Pleads Not Guilty

Sep 28, 2020, 2:53 PM
A billboard featuring a picture of Breonna Taylor and calling for the arrest of police officers inv...
A billboard featuring a picture of Breonna Taylor and calling for the arrest of police officers involved in her death is seen on August 11, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine sponsored the campaign featuring 26 billboards, one for every year Taylor was alive, across the city of Louisville where she died. Taylor was killed by Louisville Metro Police Department officers in a no-knock raid on March 13 when gunfire erupted. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The lone Kentucky detective facing charges related to the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor pleaded not guilty Monday.

Brett Hankison’s plea comes five days after a grand jury indicted him on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into the home of Taylor’s neighbors. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison on each count.

Hankison’s lawyer asked that his client be allowed to keep firearms for self-defense, saying Hankison, who was fired in June, “has received a number of threats.” The judge turned down the request.

The grand jury declined to charge Hankison or the other two undercover narcotics officers who opened fire inside Taylor’s house with her shooting. The decision not to charge the officers set off protests in Louisville and across the country.

On Monday, Louisville’s mayor lifted the curfew put in place after people refused to end their nighttime protests.

“The curfew served its purpose of helping ensure that most people were home safe by 9 p.m., because our past experience had shown that most violence and destruction occurs after dark,” the mayor’s statement said.

“We sadly saw some violence, including the shooting of two police officers, one of whom remains hospitalized, dealing with complications of his injuries. But we believe the curfew helped, by ensuring fewer people were out late in the day.”

Meanwhile, Kentucky state Rep. Lisa Willner, a Louisville Democrat, said Monday that she’s starting to craft legislation that would narrow the scope of the state’s rioting statute.

Her proposal, which she intends to offer in next year’s legislative session, would protect people from being charged with first-degree rioting if they’re present but don’t engage in destructive or violent actions. Her response comes after Democratic state Rep. Attica Scott was charged with the felony last week while participating in Louisville protests for racial justice.

“This is not any attempt at all to weaken the current law,” Willner said in a phone interview. “It’s just to make sure that people who are peacefully protesting, who are merely exercising their First Amendment rights, are clearly not engaging in rioting.”

Scott was among demonstrators who converged in downtown Louisville to express their disagreement with the grand jury decision. Many marched along Louisville’s streets chanting “Breonna Taylor, say her name,” and “no justice, no peace.”

Taylor was shot multiple times after her boyfriend opened fire as officers entered her home during a narcotics raid on the night of March 13, authorities said. Taylor’s boyfriend said he didn’t know who was coming in and fired in self-defense. One officer was wounded.

A coroner’s report obtained Monday says Taylor was shot five times and died of multiple gunshot wounds. It says she was hit in the torso, her upper left extremity and both lower extremities. She tested negative for drugs and alcohol.

Scott, the state’s only Black woman representative, was arrested and charged Thursday night with the felony of first-degree rioting as well as unlawful assembly and failure to disperse, which are misdemeanor offenses.

Police said Scott was in a group whose members damaged buildings and set fire to a library.

Scott called the charges “ludicrous” and said she would never be involved in setting fire to a library. She said she was arrested as she walked with her daughter to the sanctuary of a church.

Kentucky law defines a riot as a public disturbance involving five or more people “which by tumultuous and violent conduct creates grave danger of damage or injury to property or persons or substantially obstructs law enforcement or other government function.”

The law defines first-degree rioting as knowingly participating in a riot that causes injury to a person who is not rioting or causes substantial property damage.

Scott said she and her daughter were driving from a protest to a church that offered refuge to people who would otherwise be caught violating the curfew when police blocked their route, so they parked and walked to the church instead. Officers then converged on them to make arrests before the curfew took effect, Scott said.

“LMPD swarmed us,” Scott said. “They started yelling, ‘Circle ‘em, circle ‘em.’ They wouldn’t let us leave to go back to our vehicle. And they wouldn’t let us literally cross the street to get to the church and sanctuary.”

Willner said Scott’s arrest “raises the question of how many others have been accused of rioting in the first degree — which is a felony — who are facing loss of voting rights, simply by being present.”

“We can make the language much clearer so that in order for a person to be convicted for riot in the first degree, it should be clear that they participated in the unlawful action by engaging in violent or destructive acts or by complicitly encouraging others to engage in violent or destructive acts,” she said.

Republicans have overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the Kentucky legislature.

___

Associated Press/Report for America reporter Piper Hudsbeth Taylor in contributed to this report.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Apple has removed VKontakte, a top Russian social media platform, from its app store, according to ...
Brian Fung, CNN

Apple removes Russian social media giant VK from app store

Apple has removed VKontakte, a top Russian social media platform, from its app store, according to the app's developer.
12 hours ago
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks during a celebration of the 1990 passage of the Americans...
AAMER MADHANI, Associated Press

Biden to oil industry: Don’t raise prices as hurricane nears

President Joe Biden is warning the oil and gas companies against increasing prices for consumers as Hurricane Ian nears landfall along Florida’s southwest coast.
12 hours ago
Katie Couric speaks on stage during the Daily Front Row Fashion Media Awards at The Rainbow Room on...
DAVID BAUDER, AP Media Writer

Katie Couric says she’s been treated for breast cancer

Katie Couric says she was diagnosed with breast cancer on the first day of summer, and since has undergone surgery and radiation treatment.
12 hours ago
FILE (Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Mountain lion attacks boy, 7, at Southern California park

Authorities say wildlife officers are tracking a mountain lion that attacked a 7-year-old boy at a Southern California park.
12 hours ago
Hurricane Ian is now a stronger and "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm that has begun lashing F...
CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press

Hurricane Ian nears Florida landfall with 155 mph winds

Hurricane Ian is pushing a storm surge that could cause catastrophic damage along Florida's heavily populated Gulf Coast from Bonita Beach to the Tampa Bay region.
12 hours ago
FILE PHOTO - (Deseret News)...
Associated Press

Inmate serving life for fatal Vegas bombing escapes prison

Authorities are searching for a 42-year-old convicted bombmaker who escaped from a Nevada prison where he was serving a life sentence for a deadly 2007 explosion outside a Las Vegas Strip resort.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Officer Charged In Breonna Taylor Case Pleads Not Guilty