On Wednesday, it was announced that the State of Kentucky would not pursue homicide charges against the three officers involved in Taylor’s fatal shooting. A grand jury decided to only indict one defendant—former Louisville officer Brett Hankison—on three felony counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. The charges are based on the report that Hankison had fired 10 shots into Taylor’s apartment, some of which had entered an adjoining unit. The other two involved officers, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove, were not indicted, as the jury determined their actions were justified on the night of Taylor’s death.
Entertainers, athletes, and public officials expressed outrage and disappointment over the decision. NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick condemned the “white supremacist institution of policing that stole Breonna Taylor’s life.” Kentucky native George Clooney released a statement to Deadline, saying he was “ashamed” of the decision. Alicia Keys called the verdict “unjust” and “disrespectful,” while Viola Davis called it “bulls—!”
President Donald Trump refused to criticize the verdict, and instead praised Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron for the way he has handled the Taylor case. The president was asked what kind of message he would send to members of the Black community who were upset with Wednesday’s decision. His response was predictably tone deaf.
“My message is that I love the Black community, and I’ve done more for the Black community than any other president, and I say with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln,” he said. “I mean that … Nobody’s done more. Abraham Lincoln, lets give him the nod, but beyond that, nobody’s done more.”
You can read other reactions to the grand jury’s decision below.