Breonna Taylor warrant details deepen mistrust of police

Louisville, Kentucky. – The recent revelations about the search warrant that led to the death of Breonna Taylor have reopened old wounds in Louisville’s black community and disrupted the city’s efforts to restore trust in its police force.

Former Louisville Officer Kelly Goodlett admitted in federal court that she and another officer falsified information on the warrant; It was confirmed by many people. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garlandthat Taylor should not have been visited by armed police on March 13, 2020.

Protest leaders who took to the streets of Kentucky’s largest city after she was shot dead by police said Goodlett’s confession was that Louisville’s police were unreliable and had serious systemic problems. They say police abused a demonstrator after the raid failed, and her fatal shooting is one of many reasons the community remains vigilant. I say it’s not too much.

Hannah Drake, Louisville poet and leader of the movement for justice after Taylor’s death, said: “They don’t understand the broad tentacles of what they’ve done.”

More than once, during that long, hot summer, the situation escalated rather than calmed by individual officers.

A few days before a black man was shot dead by the National Guard in his restaurant kitchen, the officer who injured the man’s niece mocked demonstrators on social media and boldly challenged the police. Another Louisville police officer faces federal charges for hitting a kneeling protester in the back of the head with a baton.

Louisville Urban League president Sadika Reynolds tweeted shortly after Goodlett’s plea that “we were right to protest.” “People died and lives were turned upside down because of mountains of lies.”

Several Louisville police officers have been reprimanded, fired, and even charged with abusing protesters. According to the lawsuit, the problem cannot be blamed on a few rogue police officers.

They accuse the department of having a “warrior culture” and fostering an “us versus them” mentality. In the lawsuit, the family of the man who was shot at the restaurant alleges that a police attack during a curfew caused his death.

Louisville is undertaking a number of reforms, implementing a new 911 diversion program, increasing leadership reviews of search warrant requests, and improving police training. The city outlawed the “no knock” warrant, conducted an independent audit, and paid Taylor’s mother her $12 million. Civil settlement. A new Police Chief, Erika Shields, was hired in 2021.

Such reforms are being implemented within the continuing US Department of Justice. Investigation LMPD policing could land at any time.

The Chief called Taylor’s death “horrifying” and said in an interview with The Associated Press that he welcomed the federal investigation that led to the indictments against Goodlett and the other officers. I think we’re in an important place,” she said.

Mayor Greg Fisher, whose 12-year term ends this year, said city officials have turned the investigation over to state and federal officials.

Investigation of then-Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron Ends without direct prosecution of officers At Taylor’s death. It took federal prosecutors time to convict Goodlet — she pleaded guilty to conspiracy and admitted to helping create a false connection between Taylor and a wanted drug dealer. Goodlett resigned the day before the indictment was announced in August and is awaiting sentencing next month.

In an August court filing, federal prosecutors said another former officer, Joshua Jaynes, inserted important information into the warrant request, drawing Taylor into the drug squad investigation.

Garland said Goodlett and Jaynes knew it was a mistake.

“Brenna Taylor should still be alive today,” said Garland.

Goodlett, Jaynes, and Meaney were all fired, and 4th Officer Brett Hankison was also federally charged with blindly firing into Taylor’s home through a side door and window. He was acquitted of similar state charges earlier this year. Jaynes and Meany are on trial together. That trial is scheduled for next year, along with Hankison’s. Goodlett plans to testify against his Jaynes.

To restore trust, David James, a former police officer of the Metro Council, said Louisville’s black community “wanted to treat them the same way the police would treat people elsewhere in the city.” There is,’ he said.

In a predominantly African-American neighborhood far from the center of Taylor’s protests, black restaurant owner David McAty was shot dead as police tried to enforce the city’s curfew. No incident has highlighted racism more than this one.

Just before midnight on May 31, 2020, Louisville police and the Kentucky National Guard were dispatched to a gathering place near YaYa’s BBQ in Makati “to demonstrate coercion (and) intimidation,” Makati’s family alleges in the lawsuit. doing.

A few nights ago, cop Katie Cruz photographed Standing in line with the police as a protester offered her a handful of flowers. Crews posted an image of her on social media, writing that he hoped the protester was bruised by a pepperball that “lit a little later.”

“Come back and get some older girls. I’ll call you again tonight,” Crewe wrote.

As officers marched to Makati’s restaurant, the crew fired non-lethal pepper balls into the crowd to heighten tension, an LMPD investigation found. , where his niece was shot in the neck with a non-lethal round by a crew member.

McAty thereby pulled a pistol from his hip and fired. Seeing that, the crew and other officers switched to live ammunition, and Makati, who was leaning out the kitchen door, was fatally shot in the chest by a member of the National Guard. It turns out that lethal force was justified, but the police chief was fired by Fisher because the Louisville police officers involved failed to turn on their body cameras, just as they did during the Taylor raid.

The crew later admitted that no one in the crowd was disorderly. She was fired from Shields in February. Now she faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on federal charges of using unjustified force.

James, chairman and former board member of the Metro Council, groaned as he remembered McAty’s death and said he was sad because he knew him and ate his food. “The shooting has stuck in his mind as an example of a bad crackdown,” he said.

Poet and activist Drake said more systemic change was needed. In the meantime, she said, authorities should apologize for their treatment of protesters and drop the cases against those arrested at that summer’s demonstrations. remains criminally charged. Knowing that it was all so unnecessary only deepens the pain, she said.

“All of this could have been avoided,” said Drake. “And I think that’s what caused the pain — we were right!”

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