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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
By
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
©2020 All rights reserved
September 24, 2020

     Expect return fire when one shoots at police.   Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, planned a date night: dinner at a steakhouse, followed by a movie in bed. Usually, they headed to his apartment, where he lived alone and she had left a toothbrush and a flat iron. But that night, they went to the small unit she shared with her younger sister, who was away on a trip. It was dark when the couple pulled into the parking lot, then closed the door to Apartment 4 behind them. She fell asleep next to him just after midnight on March 13, the movie still playing.
 

     From the parking lot, undercover officers surveilling Ms. Taylor’s apartment before a drug raid saw only the blue glow of the television. When they punched in the door, the police identified themselves. They had a valid and legitimate warrant, they did not do a "no nock" entry.  Mr. Walker reached for his gun and let off one shot, wounding an officer. He and another officer returned fire, while a third began shooting through Ms. Taylor’s window and patio door. Ms. Taylor was struck six times.  There was no racial issue. Although Ms. Taylor had no criminal record and was never the target of an inquiry, Mr. Glover’s frequent run-ins with the police entangled her. She had been interviewed in a murder inquiry, and paid or arranged bail for him and his associates.

     Breonna Taylor has since become an icon, her silhouette a symbol of police violence and racial injustice. Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris spoke her name during their speeches at the Democratic convention. Oprah Winfrey ceded the cover of her magazine for the first time to feature the young Black woman, and paid for billboards with her image across Louisville. Beyoncé called for the three white officers who opened fire to be criminally charged. N.B.A. stars including LeBron James devoted postgame interviews to keeping her name in the news.  Unfortunately, Taylor was in the wrong place, with the wrong man.

     In Louisville, demonstrators have led nightly protests downtown, where most government buildings and many businesses are now boarded up. As outrage mounted, the city fired one of the officers, pushed out the police chief and passed “Breonna’s Law,” banning “no-knock” warrants, which allow the police to burst into people’s homes without warning. Protesters say that is not enough.  The mother received $12M from the city.

     Nearly six months after Ms. Taylor’s killing, the story of what happened that night — and what came before and after — remains largely untold. Unlike the death of George Floyd, which was captured on video as a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck, Ms. Taylor’s final moments remain in shadow because no such footage exists.

     It will be difficult for Kentucky prosecutors to build a case against former Louisville police officer Brett Hankinson after he was indicted in connection to the drug raid that led to the death of Breonna Taylor,  former Washingont D.C. homicide detective Ted Williams told “Bill Hemmer Reports" Wednesday.

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