The Impact of the Breonna Taylor Case
In recent months there has been a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. One of the reasons was because of the death of Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020.
According to a report from the New York Times, a search warrant was executed by white officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD). From the parking lot, the officers surveyed Taylor’s apartment before going inside to check for drugs. They only saw the blue glow of the television. The suspected drugs involved Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover.
When the officers pushed through the door, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fearing an intruder, reached for his gun and let off one shot, wounding an officer. That officer and another returned fire with a total of 32 shots between all the officers.
Hankison, a detective at the time, fired into the sliding glass patio door and window of Taylor’s apartment from the parking lot. Both the window and the door were covered with blinds which is a violation of a department policy that requires officers to have a line of sight.
Bullets ripped through nearly every room in her apartment and then into two apartments close by. Taylor was struck six times. She did not receive medical attention for more than 20 minutes after the shooting.
A failure to follow the LMPD rules of engagement and a lack of routine safeguards, like stationing an ambulance outside, led to the outcome of the situation.
Taylor’s story continues to be spread on social media and it continues to bring awareness to racial discrimination. Louisville passed “Breonna’s Law” which banned no-knock warrants. This means that the police can no longer burst into homes without any warning.
Hankison was the only officer out of the three that was let go by the LMPD. Another officer on the scene, Mattingly, said in a recent email, “I know we did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night.” There were many errors in the police report, the report claimed that Taylor had no injuries.
The Times states that the LMPD refuses to talk to the public about what happened that evening.
Like many similar situations, Taylor’s case took a long time to process and much of her story is still untold. One reason is the lack of camera footage around her apartment building.
There have been many protests from people across the nation seeking justice for Breonna Taylor and to bring awareness to systematic racism.