GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Michigan criminal defense attorney says the decision to only go for wanton endangerment charges in the Breonna Taylor case could be political.
First-degree wanton endangerment is a class D felony, the lowest. The maximum sentence if convicted is five years, the minimum is one.
A grand jury normally meets in a private confidential setting to hear evidence presented by prosecutors and then return a decision on an indictment.
Prosecutors in this case say the officers involved were justified using deadly force saying Taylor’s boyfriend fired at police first.
So no one was charged for Taylor’s death.
But fired officer Brett Hankison was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment for shooting into the apartments where this all happened in Louisville back in March.
The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office handled the case.
Daniel Cameron is the state’s first black attorney general.
The republican was also on President Trump’s list of Supreme Court nominees.
Defense attorney Randall Levine was surprised that Cameron only sought reckless endangerment charges, questioning the decision to not go for murder or manslaughter charges in a highly charged political year.
“(He) has connections with the Trump administration, who has a certain amount of political aspiration and who chose to – in a black lives matter environment – seek the indictment of a police officer who killed a black person on charges substantially less serious than they could have been under the facts as I understand them,” said Levine.
“For the most part,” said Levine, “police officers are honorable and hard-working and dedicated professionals. But sometimes they make mistakes and in this case, it appears that they made a horrible mistake and it ended in the tragic loss of life of an innocent black person.”
The two other officers involved were not charged.
Hankison is now set to head to trial and the FBI says it’s still investigating if there were any violations of federal laws.