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.
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.