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Expert discusses Breonna Taylor case and 'no knock warrants'

Former U.S. Attorney in the District of MN, and law professor at The University of St. Thomas, Rachel Paulose, points out what did not happen on Wednesday.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — While Wednesday's indictment brings charges against fired Louisville police officer Brett Hankison, former U.S. Attorney in the District of Minnesota, and current visiting law professor at The University of St. Thomas, Rachel Paulose points out what did not happen.

“I think it’s important to understand that today's action does not directly relate to Breonna Taylor, it does not implicate all the officers involved and it does not involve any kind of charges of homicide,” Paulose said.

The Attorney General of Kentucky, Daniel Cameron, did say the FBI crime lab determined Detective Myles Cosgrove fired the shot that killed Taylor but the conclusion of his office was that officers Cosgrove and Mattingly properly used force.

They shot back - at Taylor's boyfriend - Kenneth Walker - who was there when police broke down the door with the "no knock warrant" after midnight on March 13.

Walker admits he shot in fear.

Walker has repeatedly said, he and Taylor thought it was a break-in and he has also repeatedly said police did not announce they were police as they knocked and then broke in.

The Attorney General, and lawyers for those officers, say they did announce.

Only one officer was indicted Wednesday - the fired officer - Brett Hankison - and it was for three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.

“The technical language is a person is guilty of wanton endangerment in first degree as this has been charged by quote manifesting extreme indifference to value of human life. So, in other words where a person acts without care for human life and thereby creates great danger of death or serious injury,” Paulose explained.


Hankison is accused of firing 10 shots - none of them striking Taylor - and several of them entering an apartment near hers' where a man, a pregnant woman and child were living.

“They have identified the victims of his extreme indifference, and it is interesting to me that they identify them by initials which is typical in cases but none of them are B.T., in other words again he is not being charged with wanton endangerment of Breonna Taylor’s life,” Paulose said.

And it is the case against Hankison that will proceed on those grounds.

But that still doesn't address, to attorney Paulose, the issue that led to Taylor being shot... and that is "no knock warrants."

“I think one of the real policy questions in this case is are we going to continue to encourage or even allow the police to use what's called "no knock warrants"…in other words bursting in on people in middle of the night... executing warrants that may engender fear,” Paulose said.

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