Gov. Phil Murphy said a grand jury decision that did not bring charges against two police officers who killed Breonna while executing a search warrant was a miscarriage of justice Friday.
“It is clear to me, from the outside looking in, that justice was not properly served here. It’s hard to say otherwise,” the governor said. “So, with a heavy heart, I say we all have to stay on the road together toward that better day of complete civil rights and social justice and complete removal of the stain of racism. Breonna Taylor’s life mattered. Black lives matter, period full stop.”
The grand jury approved charges against one of the three officers involved, charging former Louisville detective Brett Hankinson with three counts of wanton endangerment. Hankinson fired into a window and glass patio door.
Because both were covered by blinds, the shots violated department policy requiring officers have a line of sight.
According to witnesses, the officers failed to identify themselves as police while executing the no-knock warrant — the officers dispute this — and Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, opened fire, fearing an intruder.
The warrant and others approved at the same time targeted Jamarcus Glover over alleged drug trafficking. Glover listed Taylor’s apartment as his address when opening a bank account but did not live there.
The decision renewed protests that have been raging around the country for months following the death of George Floyd, who suffocated after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned his neck under a knee for nearly nine minutes.
Two Louisville police officers were killed in protests Thursday, prompting a condemnation from Murphy.
“As I understand it, some police officers were shot in the aftermath of the decision coming out,” he said. “I know we are still on that journey. I know we have a long way to go. I know that woman should be alive, but the answer is not shooting members of law enforcement, please god. We have to channel (Martin Luther) King. You can’t answer hate with hate.”