A grand jury in Kentucky is expected to announce on Wednesday afternoon whether there will be criminal charges against police officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor whose case has become a rallying cry against police brutality and racism across the US and the world.
Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician, was killed on 13 March by police in Louisville serving a so-called “no-knock warrant” that allowed them to charge into her apartment without warning as part of an investigation into an ex-boyfriend.
Taylor was at her apartment with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, and asleep when police barged in. Walker, who said officers did not announce themselves, fired a single shot from his gun, believing the police were intruders. One officer was shot in the leg and police fired in return.
The attorney general of Kentucky, Daniel Cameron, is expected to announce the result of an investigation into the killing, in a press conference in the state capital, Frankfort, on Wednesday afternoon.
That event will be held shortly after the Jefferson County grand jury presents its report on the case to circuit judge Annie O’Connell at 1.15pm ET.
Downtown streets in Louisville, about 50 miles from Frankfort, have been closed off all week and the city has been on edge as it awaited the announcement.
Louisville was placed under a state of emergency Tuesday as city officials closed down a more than 25-block perimeter to traffic. Most city administrative buildings and other businesses were boarded up in anticipation of the decision.
Protests in Louisville related to Taylor’s death in March have been taking place for more than 100 consecutive days and have been overwhelmingly peaceful.
A state of emergency was declared in Louisville in anticipation of protests following the grand jury decision.
Last week the city of Louisville reached a $12m settlement with Taylor’s family in a civil suit stemming from the shooting. The city has also agreed to policing reforms including a requirement that commanders approve all search warrants before they go to a judge.
California senator and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris has called for the Department of Justice to investigate Taylor’s killing.