SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Wednesday a Kentucky grand jury announced its decision regarding the death of Breonna Taylor back in March. One of the white police officers was indicted for wanton endangerment, but was not charged directly with Taylor’s death. That decision led to a night of protests in Louisville.
“Seeing the news ahead of time about how prepared they were, how they were preparing the city in case riots happened or they were boarding up the windows and they declared a state of emergency. I think that day or those couple days prior I had already knew that they knew what decision was going to be made,” USD student Marcus Destin said.
Detective Brett Hankison was indicted with wanton endangerment for bullets he shot that traveled into Taylor’s neighbor’s apartment while three residents were home.
“Once we actually heard what the decision was, it still, for me, felt like a slap in the face. And this is me recognizing my identity as a Black man, like, you know, I’m not a Black woman and I don’t have the same fears. I have male privileges and all of that. For me, hearing the wanton endangerment, him being indicted for the wanton endangerment, but not for the actual death of Breonna Taylor, it just felt like a slap in the face,” Destin said.
Hankison faces up to five years in prison, if convicted. That decision has since sparked an uproar from Louisville residents seeking justice.
“These frustrations are in people. So you can’t judge them off of how they react off their frustrations because people are sick and tired. I would hope that people have empathy. I would hope that people would understand why people feel the way that they do,” Destin said.
Those frustrations aren’t exclusive to Kentucky.
“Breonna Taylor is my sister. Breonna Taylor is my best friends here. Breonna Taylor are my peers. Breonna Taylor are my mentors. She reflects those people. George Floyd, it’s the same exact thing,” Destin said.
Destin is the president of a new group at USD called the Cultural Wellness Coalition. He says that group is working to create a model community and safe place for people of color in Vermillion.