America Speaks: What do they think about the grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor case?

Candice JaimungalSocial Media Contributor
October 22, 2020, 2:00 PM UTC

A grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case recently released a statement stating that the jury didn't agree that the fatal shooting of Taylor was justified, and that although the panel asked about homicidal laws, they were not explained during the jury proceedings.  

In a late-September Economist/YouGov Poll, 52% of registered voters said they believe the use of force used in the Breonna Taylor case was not justified. Additional data finds half of voters (50%) say the Louisville grand jury was too lenient in indicting officer Brett Hankison for three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, for shooting a gun into three apartment buildings the night Breonna Taylor was killed.  

Related: Americans don't think use of force against Breonna Taylor or George Floyd was justified 

But what do YouGov Chat users have to say about the grand jury decision, and do they think it was too lenient or harsh on those involved? We asked our Chat users tell us what they thought about the decision. You can join the conversation here.  

For YouGov Chat users who said the grand jury was too lenient in their decision, many cited that it didn’t actually account for the death of Breonna Taylor.  

  • "They killed an innocent person in their own home. Any other person who did that would face murder charges. They did not even face a charge for the killing, it was for the shots that missed her." 

  • "The officers are guilty of murdering Breonna Taylor. It's unacceptable that the grand jury decided that dry wall was more valuable than a black woman's life." 

  • “The officer was charged for the bullets that missed and hit a wall and not for killing someone in their sleep.” 

  • “The charges were against the officer that endangered the life of the neighbors. No charges were filed for killing Breonna Taylor.” 

  • “No one was indicted for actually killing Breonna Taylor. This is shameful.” 

Others criticized the handling of the situation by the officers involved. 

  • “Lethal force was unnecessary. The situation could have been handled better and deescalated. The officers involved should face consequences for their unethical lack of protocol and measures should be taken to avoid future incidents of similar nature.” 

  • “Someone died as a result of their failure to correctly assess the situation after obviously going to the wrong address.” 

For YouGov Chat users who said the grand jury was too harsh in their decision, most cited that they believed the officers involved were doing their job, while others said they were defending themselves. 

  • “They were doing their job.” 

  • “They were defending themselves.” 

  • “I believe he was doing his job and was shot at first.” 

  • “They did what they were trained to do, they did no wrong.” 

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Everyday, members of YouGov Chat are asked to share their opinion on a topic in the news. We allow anyone to take part in these chats, and do not display or weight results in real-time. Instead, to make the experience informative but still interactive, the chat displays weighted data from YouGov Direct to show them how the rest of the country voted. This enables us to pose the question to all, while retaining data accuracy and validity when communicating results.    

YouGov chat seeks to add to the ‘what?’ (the quantitative poll result) by finding the ‘why?” (qualitative open ends) in a member’s own words. Learn more about YouGov Chat here.      

Image: YouGov