Breonna Taylor’s shooting death is not guilty

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The city of Louisville imposed a curfew and was preparing this Tuesday afternoon for possible protests that could lead to acts of violence after the announcement of the indictment of a former police officer from that city of Kentucky for the death of Breonna Taylor, a young African-American woman who was shot on March 13 in her own home in the middle of the morning as a result of a wrong operation against a drug trafficking gang. A grand jury has indicted former agent Brett Hankison on three counts of excessive violence in connection with the event, while the other two policemen – John Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove – who participated in the assault have not been charged. All three have been exonerated by the Grand Jury of Taylor’s death.

Hankison was the only one of the officers who was fired from the police department after the death of the 26-year-old woman, with a letter from his superiors specifying that he was expelled from the body for having shown “extreme disregard for the value of the human life”. The first reaction from Taylor’s family to the Grand Jury’s decision has been outrage at considering the pronouncement “offensive and outrageous.”

In the days of Black Lives Matter, when racist discrimination and police violence were made visible in the United States, the city of Louisville faced its own tragedy by instituting a series of police reforms and announcing the payment of $ 12 million to the family of Breonna Taylor to shelve the lawsuit for the death of the emergency health service technician.

Taylor’s death occurred just over two months before that of the African American George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of the police and which generated, in intensity and geographic scope, the largest protest movement in the history of the United States.

A serious mistake for which, in principle, the authorities passed the responsibility like a hot potato, resulted in the death of the young woman. In the early hours of March 13, a police tactical operation was deployed in the South End of Louisville against several crack dealers simultaneously in several locations. Officers dressed in police bulletproof vests positioned themselves outside the apartment where Taylor slept with her boyfriend, which the officers considered part of the drug distribution network.

There is a witness who has testified before the Grand Jury that he heard the police identify themselves, but nevertheless, Taylor’s partner, believing that they were attacked by criminals, responded with shots to the shooting opened by the police (through a curtained window when the protocol indicates that agents must have a clear vision of the target they are shooting at).

The result was a hail of 10 shots against Breonna Taylor, six of which ended in her body, and one that was fatal, according to the prosecution. Because it was not the officers who fired first, but rather Taylor’s boyfriend feeling threatened, legal experts who have ruled on the case consider it highly unlikely that any of the officers will be charged with her death.

Taylor’s image and name has become part of the national movement on racial injustice that is the founding sin of this country. While waiting for the decision of the Grand Jury to be known, hundreds of people gathered in the city of Louisville, which had prepared with barricades for a possible night of riots that would end the city in flames.


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