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'Justice failed us today' | Rep. Charles Booker calls for people to keep lifting their voices after Breonna Taylor decision

Booker said much more needs to be done in accountability and reimagining public safety.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky state Rep. Charles Booker said "justice failed us" following an announcement in the Breonna Taylor case Wednesday afternoon.

“Let’s be clear. Justice failed us today. It failed us in a way it has been failing us for generations,” Booker said in a press conference with Governor Andy Beshear. 

A grand jury in Jefferson County recommended three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for former LMPD officer Brett Hankison for firing shots into a nearby apartment the night Taylor was killed. 

The other two officers, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove, were not indicted. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said their use of force was justified after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired at officers as they entered the apartment.

“Justice isn’t just about what happens to these officers. It never was just about what happens to these officers,” Booker said. “It was always about the fact that we have generations of poverty and inequity all across our Commonwealth. That so many people feel the fear of knowing that justice may not account for their humanity.”

Booker said Taylor was killed by the agency which is “paid for to protect and serve her” and that much more needs to be done in accountability and reimagining public safety.

“We have to do that work if we really want to honor Breonna,” Booker said.

Booker, who has been front-and-center at the protests in Louisville, acknowledged those who have continued calling for justice in her case and encouraged people to keep lifting their voices, demanding change and “lean in with love.”

“They are dealing with trauma and pain that will never really go away,” Booker said of Taylor’s family. “They have grieved before an entire nation. The world even has seen their heartbreak.”

Booker urged Kentuckians to do the work it takes to ensure all people can be free, safe and have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

“Breonna wanted to take care of people. She should be here to pursue her dreams,” Booker said.

Full coverage: The Breonna Taylor case

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