I have been behind the ball today since before I woke up, so let’s get right to it, shall we?
1) Brett Hankison, the only officer present at the scene of Breonna Taylor’s shooting in Louisville, KY, facing charges in connection with her death, entered a not guilty plea today to three first-degree counts of wanton endangerment.
In June, Hankison was fired for his actions the night of March 13. The interim chief of the Louisville Metro Department said Hankinson’s actions showed reckless endangerment and a blatant disregard for human life when he fired blindly multiple times into Taylor’s apartment.
Today, Hankinson’s lawyer requested that his client be allowed to keep his gun because he has received death threats online. Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Ann Baily Smith denied that request, noting that forgoing a firearm is one of the conditions of Hankinson’s $15,000 bond.
Hankison fired 10 shots the night of Taylor’s death. The charges he faces are connected to the dangers those shots posed to the people in the surrounding three apartments, including a pregnant woman and her child.
Wanton endangerment is Kentucky’s lowest felony charge, and if convicted of all three charges, Hankison faces no more than 15 years in prison. According to the statement released by the grand jury, there was no evidence that Hankison personally fired any of the rounds that hit Taylor. As for the raid that was being executed that night, the grand jury did not find that the officers acted either unprofessionally or recklessly.
Several investigations are ongoing.
Taylor’s family has demanded that the grand jury transcripts be released. The police say that they identified themselves before breaching the door of Taylor’s apartment to execute a no-knock warrant, but witness testimony is conflicted. When they entered the apartment, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired, thinking someone was breaking in. He hit one of the officers in the leg, and they returned 32 shots fired by three separate officers, six of which struck and killed Taylor.
Walker was charged with assault and attempted murder, but those charges have since been dropped. He is suing the LMPD for the actions that led to his girlfriend’s death.
2) In Michigan, the Oakland County Sheriff’s office was still searching for a suspect in an early Sunday shooting at a famous haunted house attraction.
According to investigators, the shooting was a result of an altercation after someone cut in line.
Douglas Reese, 29, and his girlfriend were waiting in line to enter the popular seasonal attraction in southeast MI when a male suspect cut in front of them. Reese and the suspect exchanged a few words.
Police say the suspect accused Reese and his girlfriend of cutting in front of them. Eventually, both men walked away from the haunted house and headed to their respective vehicles. At that point, witnesses report hearing multiple shots. Reese was struck by gunshots in the chest, neck, and side. A witness reported seeing a blue sedan leave the scene traveling at a high speed.
3) As a brutal reminder of why it’s a legal requirement to pull over for emergency vehicles in New York, State Police Trooper Randi L. Murphy-Motley was severely injured when an SUV failed to pull into the left lance early Saturday morning.
At 5:40 a.m., Murphy-Motley was behind a Budget rental truck at the side of the Thruway, and she had her lights on. She was waiting for a tow truck as the driver of the truck had been transported to Erie County Medical Center.
Devere D. Thomas, 25, was driving a 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe and, for some reason, did not pull over. Thomas struck the 18-year State Police veteran. Thomas, as well as a passenger Karmella M. Hutcherson, 19; and Murphy-Motley were all injured in the resulting crash.
Murphy-Motley was released from the hospital, though there has been no update on the occupants of the Tahoe. The accident remains under investigation.
4) Multiple schools throughout the Capital District have reported new cases of positive COVID-19 cases, including: Bethlehem, Guilderland, Hoosick Falls, and Shenendehowa.
In Bethlehem, the high school was closed for Yom Kippur today and will be undergoing a deep COVID cleaning as well. This came after Albany County Health Department alerted officials yesterday morning that there had been a positive COVID test result that came back for one of the school’s members.
Guilderland High also reported new case of COVID-19, but did not confirm if the positive test result involved a student or a faculty or staff member. It was the third reported case in the district since re-opening occurred earlier this month.
The previous cases occurred at Altamont Elementary School. An email informed parents that no personal information on the positive result would be released so as to not violate any federal or HIPPA laws. The school is planning on re-opening tomorrow after being cleaned today. They were also closed in observance of Yom Kippur.
The Hoosick Falls Central School District announced a closure tomorrow for deep cleaning due to a student’s positive COVID test. The news was broken by the Rensselaer County Health Department, which has also contacted anyone who may have been in contact with the sick student.
All those who were in contact have been advised to self-quarantine until Oct. 9 as a safety precaution. This seems to be the first reported case in the district, and a notice on the school’s website says that additional information will be sent home.
As the largest school district in the area, Shen has added three more positive reported cases to its total, bringing the final tally to 13 cases – all reported over the past eight days.
According to Shen, their COVID Response Team goes into action as soon as the Saratoga County Health Department alerts them of a positive case. They immediately begin collecting the contact tracking information so that any mandatory quarantines can be determined and recommended as quickly as possible.
5) Today, the Troy Police Department released documents related to the shooting of Ayshawn Davis that revealed Jahqquay Brown may not be solely responsible for the 11-year-old’s murder.
One of the documents released was the arraignment transcript for Brown, charged with second-degree murder. In the arraignment document, it states that Brown “in concert with another” committed the actions that led to Davis being shot in the head and eventually succumbing to those injuries.
Brown will be in court again tomorrow, and the investigation will continue until all those involved are found.
Stay steady, stay strong, stay safe.
Photo credit: George Fazio.