After a jury found former LMPD detective Brett Hankison not guilty on all three counts of wanton endangerment for his actions during the botched LMPD raid that killed Breonna Taylor, around 50 protesters marched through the streets downtown and gave speeches at Jefferson Square Park on Thursday night.
During a news conference at Jefferson Square — the central location of the 2020 protests that activists call Injustice Square — prominent protest leaders shared their disappointment with the result of the trial and encouraged people to keep fighting for justice.
Tyra Walker, co-chair of the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, addressed Hankison’s emotional reaction when testifying during the trial.
“A white man cries and the world feels sorry for him,” Walker said. “Black mothers have been crying for years, hundreds of years, for their Black children, who have been ripped from their homes, lynched on a tree, now shot by police officers. But, we still don’t get no justice.”
After Walker spoke, activist Chris Will started a chant of “We won’t let this go.”
Dre Dawson, another local activist, said Hankison’s trial — and the result — was another failure of the judicial process.
“The prosecutorial efforts in this trial were minimal at best and disheartening at worst,” he said.
After the news conference, protests marched through downtown, at times walking through Fourth Street Live and on Broadway.
Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment from shots he fired during the March 13, 2020 LMPD raid that killed Taylor. His charges were not for her death, but rather for shots he fired that went into a neighboring apartment where three people were present. On June 19, 2020, it was announced that LMPD would fire Hankison. A termination letter from then-acting chief Robert Schroeder said Hankison’s actions during the raid “displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he “blindly fired ten rounds” into Breonna Taylor’s apartment. Schroeder added that the patio door and window which Hankison fired through were covered in a material that “completely prevented” Hankison from identifying a target.
Activist are resuming their protest today at 3 p.m. at Jefferson Square Park.
Watch the entire press conference via Riotheart below. For more livestream coverage, follow Riotheart on Facebook.
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