I wish I could be surprised by the Grand Jury Decision in the Breonna Taylor case, but I’m not. It had long been a debate about no-knock warrants and “why did her boyfriend have a gun?” “Isn’t he a drug dealer?” Not much was said about the cops executing a warrant that was horribly written on their apartment. Thus leading her boyfriend to try and defend himself and his loved one from people who were knocking on their door, didn’t identify themselves and busted into their apartment with guns drawn and both of them getting shot – ending with her death. It shouldn’t be a debate or discussion. It was wrong and all three of the officers should be held accountable. Just as the debates ran for the longest around people having their second amendment right to bear arms for the sake of defending themselves and their homes, was Breonna’s boyfriend not entitled to defend himself and his girlfriend when people busted into their home? Yes they were police, but in the middle of the night and you’re asleep, you don’t know. Plus it was a no-knock warrant so they came in guns drawn. Let some people who you only find out police later come into your house while you and your family are sleeping. Wouldn’t you try and defend your family? And in Kentucky by the way, you don’t need a permit to have a gun but Walker (Breonna’s boyfriend at the time) had a permit for a concealed weapon. It’s true that Breonna’s ex-boyfriend was a drug dealer, likely why she broke up with him, but Walker was not.
I work as a nurse. If I give a patient the wrong medication and a poor outcome occurs or the worst one, they die, I should be held accountable. If doctor prescribes a medication, it flags as the patient being allergic to it and I give it, I should be held accountable. If a surgeon leaves surgical instruments inside of a patient, him/her and his team should be held accountable because it means they likely skipped a step in finishing they surgery. The officers the executed the no-knock warrant on Breonna Taylor’s apartment did so at the wrong address. Had they done so at the right address they may have caught the actual criminals they were looking for instead of murdering someone in their home. If you’re a pilot, you’d best make sure the flight gets to where it is supposed to go and not at the bottom of a bay somewhere with 300 people on board.
The police should be held accountable by losing their jobs and going to jail like a nurse, doctor or anyone one else is a job that demand a higher level of scrutiny and leaves little room for error. It should also be added to background checks as well.
But because it’s Kentucky and it has a long history of not really worrying about if Black bodies are maimed or killed, that’s why the Grand Jury ruled that the shooting was justified and to add insult, only charged one of the officers for bullets that did not hit Brionna. He was charged for bullets hitting a neighboring unit. The disgust and disregard for the sanctity of life.
And for people like Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal who say it isn’t the same as George Floyd because she had a boyfriend who shot at the police, let me remind you that if the police had served the no-knock warrant at the correct apartment, we likely wouldn’t be talking about this. Breonna Taylor would still be alive, working at a job that she appeared to enjoy as an EMT and could have gone on to fulfill whatever dreams she may have had, much like George Floyd who was a father and husband. In Breonna’s case just like many other cases involving Black bodies, there was gross incompetence (not double-checking the address of a warrant the officers serving) and not wearing body cameras (something I mistakenly thought that every state had mandated that their police departments do but they do not and in this case, not Kentucky). I believe it should be federally mandated that all police departments require their officers to wear body cams. If you say the suspect did this and that, show us your body cam footage.
Some people are trying to blame Breonna’s past and her boyfriend’s actions as why she was killed. If all of us were held accountable for people we’ve dated and their actions since you broke up with them, many more people would have no-knock warrants on them. And Walker’s actions were those of someone who was awakened in the middle of the night by people banging on his door, not identifying themselves and then busting in, so yes, he had a gun and used it.
George Zimmerman said that he was standing his ground when he shot Treyvon Martin and that he was scared for his life in 2012. Did Kenneth Walker not have the right to stand his ground in his own apartment in the middle of the night for himself and his girlfriend Breonna? Or does in just not apply because they’re both Black?
With the number of Black men and women being killed by the police and people who call themselves neighborhood watch, keeping an eye on things or just may enjoy keeping track of people who don’t look like them and don’t believe Black people should be wherever they live, I find myself laughing at anyone who says “We’ve come so far and people should stop being race up so often.” Black people and people of color (especially Native Americans) have had everything against us. And even when you think things might be kinda ok, you hear once again someone who looks like you or your family has died while getting arrested for a minor crime (George Floyd), trying to get home (Trayvon Martin) or (just being in your own home (Breonna Taylor and Atatiana Jefferson).
Jefferson died Oct. 14, 2019 after the police were called by a neighbor to do a safety check on her home after the door was open. The officer checked around the house and his body cam footage shows that he was looking through a rear window of the home, told Atatiana to “Put your hands up – show me your hands.” Then shot her, he didn’t identify himself as an officer. She was killed in her own home while babysitting her nephew.
It’s sickening and we’re all tired of it happening over and over.