After waiting six months for a verdict on the killing of Breonna Taylor, we finally got our answer on Sept. 23 when the Kentucky grand jury announced that none of the officers involved would be directly charged in Taylor’s death.
To much of the world’s disappointment, she was denied the justice she deserves.
Breonna Taylor, a medical worker, was shot and killed in her sleep after a raid conducted by Louisville Metro Police Department police officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove on March 13. The grand jury only indicted Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment for endangering a neighbor with his shots. He has since pleaded not guilty. However, none of the officers involved in the raid were directly charged in Taylor’s death. This is another example of an extremely flawed, racially charged, and faulty law enforcement system.
Although many of the grand jury proceedings weren’t recorded, about 15 hours of audio footage of the grand jury inquiry were recently released to the public. These were only released when an unnamed juror requested the release in court, and for permission to speak about the case publicly. There have been two jurors who have already made the request hence the reason for the release of the transcripts.
According to the audio, two of the cops on trial said that police knocked three times in 45 seconds, announcing their presence, to which they got no response.
Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, did not hear the police asking for entry and only heard the sounds of things being knocked over and assumed it was a burglar. Moments later, the door was broken off the hinges by the plain clothes officers and Walker fired shots for protection, hitting Mattingly in his thigh. In response, the police fired 36 shots back, killing Taylor.
While the recordings told several versions of the story, they did not include the grand jury’s deliberations and instructions they were given by prosecutors leaving lots of questions on what actually happened when the verdict was reached.
According to officials, the stories and things told to jurors did not match what was on the audio recordings leaving room for misinterpretation in the media and about Taylor’s case in its entirety. The FBI is conducting a separate investigation due to the lack of consistency with the evidence.
The verdict of this case was extremely disheartening. The Black community does not feel protected as crimes like these are committed so often, but justice is never served. According to mappingpoliceviolence.org, 98.3% of killings by police from 2013-2020 have not resulted in officers being charged with a crime. Studies have shown that police violence depends on the area. However, there is no excuse for police violence.
Breonna Taylor deserves justice. Take a stand and #SayHerName.