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Sports world reacts to Breonna Taylor grand jury announcement

On Wednesday, a grand jury in Kentucky indicted officer Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree in a shooting in March that killed Breonna Taylor. Two other Louisville Metro Police Department officers — Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officer Myles Cosgrove — also fired shots into Taylor’s apartment, but neither was indicted.

Taylor’s death on March 13 came as Louisville, Kentucky, police officers executed a search warrant on Taylor’s apartment as part of a narcotics investigation. Taylor, who is Black, was not the target of the investigation and had no criminal record.

Since then, Taylor — along with George Floyd and Jacob Blake — has become a center of the social justice and Black Lives Matter movement, including athletes, franchises and leagues across sports.

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“It’s just crazy, honestly,” Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson said Wednesday.

“It’s tragic,” Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone told ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “… A lot of players on our team have spoken out for justice for Breonna Taylor, and we have not gotten justice.”

“Sadly, there was no justice today for Breonna Taylor,” NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said in a statement. “Her killing was the result of a string of callous and careless decisions made with a lack of regard for humanity, ultimately resulting in the death of an innocent and beautiful woman with her entire life ahead of her. Our players and I once again extend our deepest sympathies to her family and we vow to continue working in her honor and to always say her name.”

Here is the timeline, from ABC News, of what has happened and how the sports world is reacting to the news:

Timeline of the investigation

March 13: Officers serving a narcotics warrant fatally shoot Taylor in her home in Louisville, Kentucky.

March 13, hours later: Police announce the arrest of Kenneth Walker in the wounding of an officer during an exchange of gunfire; Taylor is left unidentified at the news conference, described as “an unresponsive woman who was later pronounced dead.”

March, April: The shooting stays out of the headlines as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads in the U.S.

April 27: Taylor’s family files wrongful death lawsuit against police department and city, challenging the police narrative.

May 13: Top Louisville prosecutor Tom Wine recuses himself from reviewing police investigation; Attorney General Daniel Cameron named as special prosecutor.

May 20: Chelsey Napper, Zayden Flournoy and Cody Etherton sue officers Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly, accusing them of disregarding human life by spraying gunfire into Napper’s apartment, next door to Taylor’s.

May 22: Prosecutors announce they will drop attempted murder charges against Walker, who shot at officers in his girlfriend’s home.

May 28: Walker’s anguished 911 call is released, three days after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minnesota, sparking large protests in Louisville.

May 29: Mayor Greg Fischer suspends use of no-knock warrants by Louisville police.

June 1: Fischer fires Police Chief Steve Conrad after officers failed to turn on body cameras in shooting of barbecue cook David McAtee during protests in Louisville.

June 11: Louisville Metro Council unanimously passes “Breonna’s Law,” which bans use of no-knock warrants.

June 14: Pop star Beyoncé writes Attorney General Daniel Cameron, urging him to charge police officers.

June 23: Officer Brett Hankison, one of three officers who fired shots the night of Taylor’s death, is fired for “blindly” firing into Taylor’s apartment.

June 25: Celebrities join hundreds of demonstrators outside state Capitol calling on Cameron to charge officers.

June 28: Photographer Tyler Gerth is fatally shot at site of ongoing protests in downtown Louisville.

July 14: Protesters are arrested for demonstrating on Cameron’s front lawn.

Aug. 12: Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, meets with Cameron.

Sept. 5: Hundreds peacefully protest outside Kentucky Derby, urging Cameron to criminally charge the officers.

Sept. 7: Fischer names Yvette Gentry, first Black woman to lead Louisville Police department, as interim chief beginning Oct. 1.

Sept. 9: Cameron is included on President Donald Trump’s shortlist of Supreme Court candidates.

Sept. 15: City announces civil settlement providing Taylor’s family with $12 million and promising police reforms.

Sept. 22: Louisville police set up blockades downtown in anticipation of Cameron’s announcement.

Sept. 23: A Kentucky grand jury indicts Hankison for shooting into neighboring apartments, but does not charge any officers for their role in Taylor’s death.

Reaction from social media

The cops that murdered Breonna Taylor knew this is how it would play out from the moment it happened. They were never worried about justice being served.

— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) September 23, 2020

Our country still has a lot of work to do! Justice for Breonna Taylor✊🏾

— Angel McCoughtry (@angel_35) September 23, 2020

And our baked in Caste system lives in…

— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) September 23, 2020

I don’t have many words right now…. but all I can say is I’m praying for the city of Louisville right now!!! 😔😔

— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) September 23, 2020

This is why police need to be defunded and ultimately abolished! We time and time again hope for a sliver of justice but why would we get that when the system is designed to protect the very folks that are murdering and terrorizing us. This isn’t a bad apple, it’s a rotten tree.

— Layshia Clarendon (@Layshiac) September 23, 2020

My heart is with the family of Breonna Taylor right now. My god. This is devastating and unfortunately not surprising. Black and brown folx in this country deserve so much more. #BlackLivesMatter #JusticeforBreonnaTalyor #DefundPolice #RegisterToVote

— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) September 23, 2020

Society continues to regress as racial inequality remains prevalent. Prayers for the family of Breonna Taylor. I can’t even imagine the pain y’all continue to go through. Praying for change and peace always! 🖤 #BLM

— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) September 23, 2020

Slap on the wrist for MURDER, but 10 yrs for tearing down a punk ass statue!

— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) September 23, 2020

We already knew #BreonnaTaylor wasn’t going to receive the justice that she deserved. I’m not even surprised.

— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) September 23, 2020

Not surprised just disappointed . We’re sorry Breonna 💔

— Isabelle Harrison (@OMG_itsizzyb) September 23, 2020

Wow! This comes as no surprise but this is really bad. I don’t understand what we stand for and why life doesn’t mean anything.

— James Wade (@coachjameswade) September 23, 2020

No Justice … again. I’m sorry Breonna #BreonnaTaylor

— Gwen Berry (@MzBerryThrows) September 23, 2020

Praying for the city of LOUISVILLE 😔😔.

— Montrezl Harrell (@MONSTATREZZ) September 23, 2020

Can’t put a price on JUSTICE!!!! They know exactly what they doing.

— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) September 23, 2020

i am so sorry Breonna 😔

— Lexie Brown (@lexiekiah_4) September 23, 2020

Justice > money !!

— JJJ (@jarenjacksonjr) September 23, 2020

Overwhelmed with emotions. Justice was not served. This isn’t about politics, this is a HUMAN RIGHTS issue. We have to be better and do better. Disappointed as a Kentuckian. Sorry Breonna Taylor, RIP. #BLM

— Kyra Elzy (@CoachLZ) September 23, 2020

A wall got more justice… A WALL!

— Simone Manuel (@swimone) September 23, 2020

Breonna Taylor’s killers getting off scot free without even a trial is exactly the systemic rot that people are protesting for. All those protests, all the outcry for justice, and can’t even get a trial. Angry doesn’t even come close to how im feeling. #BreonnaTaylor

— Justin Jackson (@J_ManPrime21) September 23, 2020

So 3 officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor. 1 gets indicted for basically shooting at the neighbors house. The other two walk free. That’s straight BS

— Alfonzo McKinnie (@_Alvo_) September 23, 2020

Disgraceful. Smh. #Breannataylor

— Alysha Clark (@Alysha_Clark) September 23, 2020

This is why we PROTEST!

— ClaressaT-rexShields (@Claressashields) September 23, 2020

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