Stamford NAACP president: Better public policy, legislation needed in wake of Breonna Taylor case

Many people in Connecticut are grappling with the news that the Louisville, Kentucky, police officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor will not be charged for her death.

News 12 Staff

Sep 25, 2020, 1:00 AM

Updated 1,369 days ago

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Many people in Connecticut are grappling with the news that the Louisville, Kentucky, police officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor will not be charged for her death.
Former officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in the case. In Kentucky, wanton endangerment means deliberately engaging in conduct that could create danger of death or injuries to another person.
In this case it means Hankison is being charged with potentially endangering Breonna Taylor's neighbors. Authorities say he fired bullets into a neighboring unit.
The two other officers who were on the scene during the police raid in March had no charges brought against them.  
NAACP Stamford Chapter President Guy Fortt says he's had his work cut out for him as the nation has reckoned with racial injustices these past few months.
Fortt says he believes the situation in Louisville all comes back to a poor criminal justice system. He says there is no hope for justice until there is better public policy and legislation.
"Kentucky has vigorous laws on self-defense, this is what the law says. This is what legislation says. They are going to follow through, that's why these guys can win," Fortt said.
Criminal defense lawyer Mark Sherman says Connecticut's version of this charge is called reckless endangerment, but the penalty is different -- up to one year in prison as opposed to five in Kentucky.
"In the grand jury testimony, an independent witness said the police said they did identify themselves, but we don't know anything about that because it's a secret, closed off process," he said.
Sherman adds there is no transparency.
"I don't understand necessarily how the jury got to this verdict. We won't. We'll never know, unless we have the transcripts from that testimony but right now that's not allowed or permissible," he said.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron says he expects no further criminal charges in this case.
Fortt says his chapter meets with Stamford police regularly to go over protocols and try to work together to create a safer community.


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