breonnataylor3 092320CHICAGO—Members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus spoke out Wednesday on news that a grand jury failed to indict three Louisville officers, Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, for killing Breonna Taylor in her sleep in March. Ex-police officer Brett Hankison was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment, and the other officers face no charges.

State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford, ILBC Chair

“The charges are devastatingly unbefitting of Breonna Taylor’s tragic death. The sheer lack of accountability for the officers who killed Breonna is yet another clear example of how the justice system does not protect Black lives,” Lightford said. “We share the frustration and anger of our fellow community members and the activists who are tired of the rampant injustice in our justice system.

"For far too long, officers who have sworn to protect and serve have instead targeted, oppressed and traumatized our community. As we commit ourselves to speak out, we must honor Breonna's life by remaining peaceful. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus will continue to work tirelessly until Black Lives Matter is not just a movement, but a bedrock principle of the law and its enforcement.”

State Representative Camille Lilly, House ILBC Chair

“We are all deeply saddened, disappointed and angered about the lack of respect given to the life of Breonna Taylor. We must peacefully protest, using our voices and keeping people safe, while practicing our First Amendment rights. We must continue to fight for justice in order to bring an end to the epidemic of Police Violence. Police killing unarmed Black people is an act of violence,” said Lilly. “The refusal to hold law enforcement accountable allows state-sanctioned violence against Black Americans to continue. To apply the charge of wanton endangerment without any others to the killing of Ms. Taylor is an attempt to pacify the public, not to provide justice. Today was another example of the justice system’s lack of understanding and lack of respect for Black lives and Black America. I pray we all are heard because the life of a human being should be our priority.”

State Senator Christopher Belt, Senate ILBC Chair

"It’s disappointing to hear the Kentucky grand jury's decision to charge only one of the three officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor. All three officers acted recklessly and violated policy and training, resulting in the loss of this young woman's life," Belt said. "Officers need to recognize that protecting and serving is for all community members—prejudice should not be tolerated. I understand many community residents will be upset about the decision, but I hope they have the strength to protest their anger peacefully."