Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano diverged from the consensus opinion of his colleagues on the Breonna Taylor decision, saying Thursday that he would have personally “indicted all three” police officers involved in her death.
After a Kentucky grand jury decided not to charge any of the three Louisville Metro police officers with killing Taylor during a botched late-night raid on her apartment, Fox News hosts and pundits quickly defended the lack of charges, essentially calling it an unfortunate “tragedy” that couldn’t be helped.
Napolitano, however, saw things just a bit differently.
During an interview on The Daily Briefing, host Dana Perino brought up the widespread and fiery protests over the decision, noting that only one officer was charged with wanton endangerment for blindly firing into another apartment.
“Obviously the protesters are very upset and there are facts that perhaps they didn’t understand or the law is not satisfactory to them,” she continued. “Where do you think we are?”
After acknowledging that protesters will not be satisfied as the officers aren’t going to be charged with murder, Napolitano then took issue with the grand jury’s interpretation of the law.
“The law that permits the police to return fire and to defend themselves does not permit them to shoot blindly, aimlessly where they can’t see the target and they don’t even know or what they’re shooting at,” he said. “Which is how this innocent woman Breonna Taylor got killed.”
The three plainclothes police officers were executing a “no-knock” warrant late at night at Taylor’s apartment as part of a drug investigation linked to her ex-boyfriend. Taylor’s current boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot once at the officers after they broke down the door, resulting in them returning fire and hitting Taylor six times. While the police insist they announced themselves prior to entering, Walker contends he did not hear them say “police.”
“I would have indicted all three of them and let them assert their affirmative defenses at the time of trial,” Napolitano continued. “But that’s not what happened and that’s just me. There are legitimate beefs about this in the streets.”
The veteran jurist went on to say that the task force announced by the Kentucky attorney general to look at potential reforms should target police immunity, adding that officers “should not be immune when they break the law.” He also called for the prosecutors and judge to release all the evidence and transcripts from the grand jury so the public can see everything that was considered in the case.