Breonna Taylor case: Kerry Washington, Viola Davis and more react as no officers directly charged with her death

Taryn Ryder
·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
·7 mins read

One officer involved in Breonna Taylor’s killing was indicted by a grand jury in Kentucky on Wednesday, while two others won’t face charges. The decision lit up social media as celebrities expressed disappointment and offered condolences to Taylor’s family.

Former Louisville police Detective Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for bullets fired into a neighboring apartment. None of the charges stem from her death. The two other officers involved, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, were cleared as Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said they were “justified” in using deadly force because they were allegedly fired upon first by Taylor’s boyfriend. Cameron preemptively acknowledged that celebrities and others would be upset with the outcome.

Viola Davis, left, and Kerry Washington
Viola Davis, left, and Kerry Washington are among the celebrities reacting to news that no officers will be charged in the death of Breonna Taylor. (Getty Images)

“There will be celebrities, influencers and activists who having never lived in Kentucky will try to tell us how to feel, suggesting they understand the facts of this case, that they know our community and the commonwealth better than we do, but they don’t,” he said. “Let’s not give in to their attempts to influence our thinking or capture our emotions.”

Viola Davis was among the stars who bluntly called the decision “bulls***” — and the Oscar winner’s not alone.

Kentucky native George Clooney said he’s “ashamed of this decision.”

“I was born and raised in Kentucky. Cut tobacco on the farms of Kentucky. Both my parents and my sister live in Kentucky. I own a home in Kentucky, and I was there last month. The justice system I was raised to believe in holds people responsible for their actions,” Clooney said in a statement. “Her name was Breonna Taylor and she was shot to death in her bed by 3 white police officers, who will not be charged with any crime for her death. I know the community. I know the commonwealth. And I was taught in the schools and churches of Kentucky what is right and what is wrong. I’m ashamed of this decision.”

Black-ish star Yara Shahidi highlighted how “insulting” it is that no officers were directly charged with Taylor’s death.

“The state of Kentucky deemed the lives of Breonna Taylor’s neighbors to be worth more than her own,” added Jemele Hill.

“If only the criminal justice system valued Black people as much as drywall,” read a tweet from The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.

Meanwhile, Kerry Washington urged her followers to vote.

Common, Joy Reid, Sarah Silverman and more also weighed in.

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