By Taliyah Lowe
Her case made headlines and sparked protest and outrage. In the early hours of March 13, 2020, the police officers obtained a search warrant for Breonna Taylor’s home in Louisville, Kentucky. The police were investigating Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, a convicted drug dealer who was still having packages sent to Taylor's home. When the police banged on the door, Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s current boyfriend who was home with her at the time, feared it was Glover trying to break in. The police removed the door hinges and made their entry into the apartment. Walker then fired upon Sergeant Mattingly, hitting him in the thigh. This led Detective Brett Hankison to shoot ten rounds into the apartment, five out of the ten hitting Breonna Taylor, and taking her life.
The police claim to announcing themselves before entering, but Walker claims they did not, which leads to the question: If the police had announced themselves, why would Walker shoot a cop? Everyone knows that firing upon an officer had drastic repercussions. No drugs were found in Taylor’s apartment, and ex-boyfriend Glover stated that Taylor had no part in the drug trade.
Hankison was subsequently fired from the police force, and Mr. Mattingly and Mr. Myles Cosgrove had their assignment changed. According to the New York Times article What We Know About Taylor’s Case and Death, “The police’s incident report contained multiple errors. It listed Ms. Taylor’s injuries as ‘none’ even though she had been shot several times, and indicated that officers had not forced their way into the apartment- though they used a battering ram to break open the door.” This report discredits the police because the two aspects/events they claimed took place were crystal clear lies.
Several changes have been made in the wake of Breonna Taylor's death. On June 11, 2020, the city of Louisville banned the no-knock warrants. The Mayor has even named a new chief of police, and has required that officers wear their body cameras at all times during a search warrant.
On October 2, 2020, “recordings of about 15 hours from the grand jury inquiry were released. The audio files have begun to shed light on what evidence jurors considered when choosing to indict Mr. Hankison and declining to being charges against the other police officers involved in the shooting,” says New York Times. NYT continues, “The release of the recordings came after one of the grand jurors filed a court motions that asked for the proceedings to be made public; the juror also accused Kentucky attorney general, Daniel Cameron, of using the jurors as a ‘shield to deflect accountability and responsibility’. Mr. Cameron has insisted that jurors were given ‘all of the evidence’.” A Grand juror recently has spoken out and said that the jurors were never given the chance to consider homicide charges against the officers involved.
This is not a transparent case, and there are many red flags and questions, especially whether the Grand jury will get the chance to judge this case fairly. It brings Daniel Cameron into question, and whether or not he is doing his job for his state. It also allows demonstrates that there is no winner, or right or wrong. The distrust in the police force continues to grow, resulting in protest and advocacy across the nation, and Breonna Taylor has been added to the names of previous black men and women who didn’t deserve to die at the unjust hands of the police.
It has been said that “there is nothing unprotected on this planet like black women.” After she was shot, Breonna Taylor had to wait 20 minutes before getting medical attention. We have to do a better job at protecting our women, our men, and our neighbors, whether they’re black, white, purple, or blue. We must do better at protecting each other.
Breonna Taylor had her whole life ahead of her. She deserved so much more than what she received. She was just 26 years old, when she was slayed by multiple bullets in her apartment fired by the police. This isn’t a simple case; there is a lot of information and are many holes in the story, making the case difficult. The only aspects of this case that aren’t difficult are that Breonna Taylor was considered collateral damage, she was innocent, and she deserves her justice. Her family and friends deserve closure in any way that they can receive it.