Emotions across the United States are high after new news surrounding the Breonna Taylor case dropped Wednesday afternoon.
Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron announced a grand jury indicted former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for “wantonly and blindly” firing into Taylor’s apartment, per CNN. Wanton endangerment is a Class D felony and carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.
No other officers were indicted relative to the incident that left Taylor, 26, dead in her own apartment. This has not sat well with several members of the NBA, who’s since taken to social media to voice their frustrations with the decision.
The news broke just hours before the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat tipped off Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, which will feature some of the most vocal activists in the NBA.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens candidly addressed the issue ahead of the all-important contest.
“I mean, it’s obviously — I heard (Golden State Warriors head coach) Steve Kerr say this — demoralizing news,” Stevens said during his pregame video press conference, via NBC Sports Boston. “I think the idea of, you know, just going into that apartment doesn’t make any sense and to have 15 rounds of gunfire fired, five of which hit her, and there to be wanton endangerment — which I didn’t know existed before today — as the charge, yeah, it’s tough.
“I think at the end of the day, there’s been a call across the country, rightfully so, for more transparency, more accountability and just a better community relationship. Obviously, this feels like a setback for that. And at the same, I guess the other side is, is you see a lot of cities in lots of places really taking steps that should have been taken a long time ago, but at least they’re being taken now to make sure — whether it’s meeting the issues of the 8 Can’t Wait, whether it’s committing to civilian review boards, whether its better transparency and data, whether it’s diversifying the police force even more to match that of the neighborhood, whatever the case may be. This doesn’t feel good today.”
So, Stevens reached out to his players, many of whom have been deeply involved in promoting social justice and racial equality since protests around the issues arose back in May.
“I just sent them a text midday — because everybody’s got their own thing that they do during the day of the game — and I just said, ‘If you need somebody to vent to or need somebody to talk to or you want to call or get me in-person at the gym, feel free.”
Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals tips off at 8:30 p.m. ET.