Breonna Taylor: George Clooney 'ashamed' of indictment decision


George Clooney and magazine cover portrait of Breonna Taylor

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Getty Images/O, The Oprah Magazine

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George Clooney and Breonna Taylor as she appeared on the cover of Oprah Winfrey’s magazine

George Clooney has joined other stars in condemning a decision to charge just one of the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.

Hospital worker Taylor, 26, was shot multiple times as officers stormed her home in Louisville, Kentucky, in March.

Clooney, a Kentucky native, said he was “ashamed” by the decision to charge Brett Hankison, not with Ms Taylor’s death, but with “wanton endangerment”.

Actors Viola Davis and Jeffrey Wright have also voiced their frustrations.

Taylor’s death on 13 March, along with those of George Floyd and others, has become a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter protesters around the world.

There have been widespread calls for the three officers involved in her death, who are all white, to be charged with murder or manslaughter.

On Wednesday it was announced that Mr Hankison would be charged on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into a neighbour’s apartment during the raid.

No charges are to be brought against Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, the other two officers involved.

In a statement, Clooney said he had been “born and raised” in Kentucky and was brought up to know “what is right and what is wrong”.

He said he had “cut tobacco on the farms of Kentucky”, owned a home in the state and knew its “community” and “commonwealth”.

“The justice system I was raised to believe in holds people responsible for their actions,” the former ER star continued.

“Her name was Breonna Taylor and she was shot to death in her bed by three white police officers, who will not be charged with any crime for her death.”

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Taylor, an emergency medical technician, was 26 when she died

Fellow Oscar winner Davis tweeted her anger at the decision and Westworld star Wright called for a change in the law, while director Ava DuVernay voiced her support for Taylor’s family.

“God bless Breonna’s family and all who knew and loved her,” tweeted the director of A Wrinkle in Time and When They See Us.

“Her tragic death compounded by the violence of silence and inaction by the city she called home is more than any of them should have to endure.”

Actress Mira Sorvino, meanwhile, took issue with her own Twitter followers after expressing her feelings about the case.

“I see I lost over 100 followers since my tweet about Breonna Taylor and how the justice system utterly failed her,” she wrote. “If that’s why then I’m glad to see you go.”

What happened to Breonna Taylor?

Breonna Taylor was an emergency medical technician who lived in Louisville, Kentucky.

She and her boyfriend were at home in bed when police officers entered her apartment shortly after midnight on 13 March.

The officers were acting under a so-called no-knock warrant, which authorised them to enter the home without warning.

Ms Taylor’s boyfriend, who has a gun licence, fired shots during the incident, saying later that he thought there were intruders in the home.

Ms Taylor died after being shot eight times by police.

No drugs were found in the property. A legal case filed by Ms Taylor’s family says the officers were not looking for her or her partner, but for an unrelated suspect who did not live in the complex and was already in custody.

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