Members of the N.B.A., who are often ahead of the curve in calling for social justice, were especially vocal about their disappointment in the grand jury’s decision. There were no on-court displays for Ms. Taylor in a game between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat after Wednesday’s announcement, but N.B.A. players spoke out elsewhere, as did the head of their union.
“Sadly, there was no justice today for Breonna Taylor,” Michele Roberts, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, wrote in a statement, saying that Ms. Taylor’s death was the result of “callous and careless decisions made with a lack of regard for humanity.”
“Our players and I once again extend our deepest sympathies to her family and we vow to continue working in her honor and to always say her name,” she added.
On Instagram, LeBron James simply said, “So so sorry!!!!”
It is rare for any police officer who causes a death to be prosecuted.
The lack of a murder or manslaughter indictment against any of the officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor was an outrage to many — but not a surprise. Even as protests erupt in cities across American in response to incidents of police brutality, a gulf remains between the public perception of that violence and how it is treated in court.
Few police officers who cause a death in the line of duty are ever charged with murder or manslaughter — and only about one-third of the few who are charged are ever convicted.
Law enforcement officers kill about 1,000 people a year across the United States. Since the beginning of 2005, 121 officers have been arrested on charges of murder or manslaughter in on-duty killings, according to data compiled by Philip M. Stinson, a criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Of the 95 officers whose cases have concluded, 44 were convicted, but often on a lesser charge, he said.
In the case against the Minneapolis officers charged with killing George Floyd, whose videotaped death in May shocked the nation and was almost universally denounced, the prosecutor, Attorney General Keith Ellison, has warned of the difficulty of prosecuting officers.