The Breonna Taylor Non-Indictments [Updated]

We’ll see just how much Facts Don’t Matter in the Breonna Taylor fiasco aftermath. I heard shameless race-huckster Ben Crump speaking on TV, and when he started blathering on about 1619, I changed the channel to a re-run of “The Andy Griffith Show.” As a friend says, memorably but grossly, “There is some shit I won’t eat.” The sentiment is apt here.

The Kentucky grand jury did not indict current and former police officers for the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, though her name has been prominently linked to that of George Floyd and others during the promotion of protests and rioting in the George Floyd Freakout. As with Floyd, there was no evidence of racism in the death of Taylor, other than the fact that the three cops involved are white and she was black. That’s enough for the presumption or racism to stick, as we have learned in other cases, thus “justifying” Crump’s pronouncements.

Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was sleeping in her apartment on March 13 when police officers Jonathan Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove  and Brett Hankison, operating with a no-knock warrant that was mistakenly processed, burst in. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, thinking that the apartment was being invaded, shot at them, and they returned fire. Taylor was accidentally killed by a bullet from Cosgrove’s gun in the crossfire, and five other bullets struck her as well.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron held a  press conference after the grand jury’s decision was announced, explaining that because Walker fired first, Cosgrove and Mattingly were “justified in their use of force after having been fired upon.” The result was pre-ordained from the beginning unless prosecutors violated all ethical standards and pushed the jurors to indict the officers for Taylor’s death anyway as a sop to Black Lives Matters and an attempt to stem the violence likely to follow if the officers weren’t sacrificed to the mob.

I, legal experts, and anyone paying attention  doubted that the grand jury would or could return murder indictments on this set of facts. The 12 jurors did return three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree against Officer Hankison for shooting his gun into the apartment next to Taylor’s, but that is unlikely to calm the fury of those who want to riot on general principles, if you can call “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more!” a principle.

Will there be protests and riots over the completely correct decision by the grand jury? Of course.  About 15 minutes after the decision, a woman could be heard screaming while trash cans were set on fire. And so it began. Hundreds chanting, “No justice! No Peace!” took to the streets as multiple confrontations between police and protesters broke out.

Meanwhile, protests were scheduled in Atlanta (which as its own recent non-racist, non-brutality police involved death to hold an unjustified protest about), with others certainly to follow around the country. All of them will be completely counter-factual, completely unjustified, completely irresponsible, and completely unethical. Those defending or excusing them have no facts, none, zilch, nada to support them.

But as I began by saying, Facts Don’t Matter.

It would be nice if somebody with credibility said so before the President issues a dumb tweet about it. Any violence arising from anger over the Taylor death will be the result of a mindless tantrum being exploited by an ugly alliance between hate-mongers, anarchist, and ignoramuses.

Can you tell? I’m sick of hearing people coddle and rationalize destructive protests that have no basis in fact. Call them what they are.

And a lawyer like Ben Crump who deliberately misstates facts to provoke violence ought to be suspended from the practice of law.

UPDATE: For you Citizen Free Press fans: What wrong with this headline?

“Breaking — Grand jury indicts Louisville Police Sergeant in death of Breonna Taylor”

I really hate that.

 

19 thoughts on “The Breonna Taylor Non-Indictments [Updated]

  1. The NY Post is reporting that the AG has said the officers actually did knock and announce themselves, and that a neighbor corroborated that they did. Not that it would make any difference to some.

    • If that’s true, it leaves one nagging question: why would a man with no criminal history, in an apartment where nothing incriminating was found, knowingly open fire on police?

      Not that it has any bearing on charges against the officers, of course. It’s just something I can’t make sense of.

      • I read somewhere, and now can’t find it, that the boyfriend and the woman were standing at the end of a hallway when the boyfriend opened fire on the cops after they announced themselves (confirmed by a witness), got no response, and then (I assume, using a battering ram) opened the door and entered. I also take the AG’s statement to correct the apparent misunderstanding that the warrant was a “no-knock” warrant. My guess, the boyfriend thought he was about to be ripped off by some competing drug dealers. The apartment had evidently been used as a drop house by either the boyfriend or the former boyfriend they thought was there (according to a college classmate who lives in Louisville and has, I’m sure, kept himself pretty informed on the case).

        • My guess, the boyfriend thought he was about to be ripped off by some competing drug dealers.

          Except they found no drugs, no cash, and he has no record. It’s the ex-boyfriend who was the drug dealer.

          • You’re right, Dave. I stand corrected re the boyfriend who fired. Another question: Assuming the police identified themselves, why didn’t someone respond or come to the door?

            • I don’t think it’s fair to say the cops must not have identified themselves because the two young people would have responded if they, the police, had identified themselves.

              A question for our in house police practice experts: Are officers very enthusiastic about executing “no knock” warrants? They seem ridiculously fraught with risk?

              • “Are officers very enthusiastic about executing “no knock” warrants? They seem ridiculously fraught with risk?”

                “No knock” search warrants are indeed risky, and most officers would rather not use them unless they are absolutely necessary (which at times they are). My team’s practice was to plan extensively for all search warrants but especially “no knock” warrants. It is important to know the layout of the premises and where occupants are likely to be at a given time of day. Knowing the background and history / propensity for violence of the occupants is also essential. Many agencies require multiple levels of review before a “no knock” warrant is sought. Common practice for officers executing a “no knock” warrant is to breach the entry without announcement, but to loudly, immediately and repeatedly announce “Police officers, search warrant!” until all occupants of the premises have been located and secured. This is the method I was taught and practiced. I can’t imagine breaching a door and then just boldly striding inside with no announcement.
                Good investigators can often find tactical alternatives to serving search warrants at residences in the middle of the night, Sometimes, there is no alternative if vital evidence is to be seized or dangerous persons must be apprehended forthwith and they cannot be located at any other time. Safety for all concerned needs to be kept at the forefront in considering these types of operations. No knock warrants were and are rare in my former jurisdiction.

            • I had the cops knock on my door, but I didn’t hear them because I was in the back of the house. I CAN hear the doorbell, but they didn’t use it. They almost broke in. They came because the rain shorted out the phone lines (cheap AT&T) and the security system assumed someone cut them and called police. I got a phone call from the security company and only then did I go to the door to talk to the cops.

            • Kentucky is a Castle Doctrine and stand your ground state, but I’m pretty sure neither of those are legal defense for reacting violently to a lawful police action. However, I can see someone getting off the hook for prosecution in a case like this where they weren’t otherwise committing a crime, and weren’t immediately aware of anything other than that they were being attacked in their home.

              It IS murky, and law enforcement should be trying to come up with better ways of dealing with suspected crimes, where there’s no immediate threat, than a sudden high-energy assault on someone’s house in the middle of the night. That’s automatically a recipe for confusion and violence, and this is not the first incident of innocents (and not just blacks) being harmed or killed as a result. You have to wonder why an arrest and search as the suspect was leaving the house in the morning wouldn’t have served just as well, and whether some of these incidents aren’t just police units wanting chances to play gung-ho swat games.

  2. Ultimately, much of white America will surrender to the minority mob which will lead to guerilla tactics and more violence by those unwilling to surrender to the facts don’t matter mob.

    The only other rational expectation is that the white majority will tire of the facts don’t matter mob and stand up for themselves. When they do they will not be very receptive to listening to legitimate complaints. I know I stop listening when I am told I am “fill in your pejorative”.

    That is why Ben Crump is harming race relations. I wonder how much of these settlements he is receiving for little work other than fomenting civil unrest. I see Ben Crump as merely one of many string pullers for some yet unidentified orchestra conductor(s). Those could be Soros or Xi or maybe even a combine of select interest groups. It matters little as to who but why is extremely important to know.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see an avenue by which real communication can take place. You cannot advance community policing when leaders are saying the other side wants to kill you. So why should we invest in activities that are being undermined by inflammatory rhetoric? Without trust neither side will be willing to accept the other side’s word or explanations.

  3. Facts :

    So : what did Breonna Taylor actually do that justified police shooting her 6 times?

    Was she shot accidentally? Given that the alleged killer has also been charged with reckless endangerment?

    Was she shot deliberately?

    • Caught in the crossfire. An accident. The police are liable for civil damages for botching the raid. There is no possible way to show intent. The police officer was charged with reckless endangerment for an unrelated act involving the house next door.

      • I thought the police line was that she was next to an armed person who had already fired, and may have had a weapon too , so they were in fear of their lives. They shot deliberately, in the course of executing their lawful duties.

        6 shots that hit seems a little excessive for crossfire – when all but one shot was in one direction. It would imply that the police fired recklessly, in panic at anything and everything..

        Like the other police officer outside is alleged to have done.

        Not a good look, the Fearless Fosdick tactic.

        Feel free to correct me here if I’m wrong.

        • You’re wrong. They barely saw her, if they did, but it doesn’t matter: in no setting will police officers in that situation be guilty of murder. Legal warrant, someone starts shooting, a bystander is killed. The obsession with the number of shots is a tell: police training says keep shooting until the threat is gone. It’s not panic. Shooting into a house blind is reckless, which is why the one officer was indicted for what he did to the neighboring house; shooting when you are being shot at isn’t, and if you are legally shooting, and the police were, the results can’t be a crime. Your assumptions betray an anti-police bias, ZB. You should work on that.

      • Jack
        The Louisville Courier Journal had a lengthy story outlining the investigation of persons associated with the Taylor residence. Chris Plante on WMAL made reference to this article on this morning’s. 09/24 program.

        First: Breonna Taylor was listed on the warrant along with her address ad DOB.

        Investigators had recordings from the jail phones in which her ex was coordinating money drops at the residence.

        Surveillance of the home shows another person listed on the warrant making repeated visits and picking up packages at the residence which was referred to by her supposed ex as the ‘trap’ house .

        I read other information regarding her employment as an EMT which contradicts the prevailing narrative she was employed as an EMT.

        Things may not be as cut and dry as Ben Crump would have us believe. You have to give him credit for getting a big settlement before all the exculpatory facts came out.

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