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How the Supreme Court and the Incorporation Doctrine Helped Kill Breonna Taylor

There has been plenty of debate surrounding the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky. But seldom mentioned is the role Supreme Court precedent and the incorporation doctrine played in setting the legal stage for events to unfold ending with the death of a young woman.

Breonna Taylor was in bed with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker in the early-morning hours of March 13 when police broke into her home executing a no-knock warrant issued earlier that day. Walker claims he heard banging on the door but never hear anybody say “police.” When the officers broke down the door, Walker fired a shot, hitting an officer in the leg. Police returned fire, killing Taylor. She suffered at least eight gunshot wounds.

Walker escaped unharmed. After the shooting stopped but before he was taken into custody, Walker called 911 and said, “I don’t know what’s happening. Somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend.”

Officers were ultimately cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in Taylor’s death. A grand jury indicted one officer on reckless endangerment charges for firing into a neighboring apartment.

Under the law, officers were justified in entering the apartment because they had a valid warrant. There is considerable debate about whether or not police announced themselves before entering. Officers and at least one witness said they did. Walker’s 911 call indicates that if they did, he didn’t hear them. Regardless, the police were not required to knock or announce themselves because the warrant was a “no-nock” warrant, meaning officers could legally enter the apartment without any notice.

The grand jury determined that since the police entered the apartment legally, they also had the legal right to defend themselves once Walker fired his weapon. In the eyes of the grand jury, Taylor was collateral damage in a legally justified police self-defense response.

There has been a hot debate about the events that transpired inside Taylor’s home. Were police reckless when they opened fire? Did Walker have a right to shoot? Was it racially motivated? Did police misrepresent facts to obtain the warrant? There is plenty to parse out. But it’s also important to take a step back and look at the legal framework that made the no-knock raid possible to begin with. Without Supreme Court precedent applied to local law enforcement through the incorporation doctrine, police may well have never crashed into Breonna Taylor’s home that morning.

No-Knock Warrants

In the 1995 case Wilson v. Arkansas, the Supreme Court established that police must peacefully knock, announce their presence, and allow time for the occupants to open the door before entering a home to serve a warrant. But the Court allowed for “exigent circumstance” exceptions if police fear violence, if the suspect is a flight risk, or if officers fear the suspect will destroy evidence.

As journalist Radley Balko notes, police utilized this exception to the fullest extent, “simply declaring in search warrant affidavits that all drug dealers are a threat to dispose of evidence, flee or assault the officers at the door.”

The SCOTUS eliminated this blanket exception in Richards v. Wisconsin  (1997) requiring police to show why a specific individual is a threat to dispose of evidence, commit an act of violence or flee from police. But even with the opinion, the bar for obtaining a no-knock warrant remains low.

“In order to justify a ‘no-knock’ entry, the police must have a reasonable suspicion that knocking and announcing their presence, under the particular circumstances, would be dangerous or futile, or that it would inhibit the effective investigation of the crime by, for example, allowing the destruction of evidence.” [Emphasis added]

Reasonable suspicion is an extremely low legal bar to meet.

A third Supreme Court ruling effectively eliminated the consequences for violating the “knock and announce” requirement without a no-knock warrant. In Hudson v. Michigan (2006), the High Court held that evidence seized in violation of knock and announce was not subject to the exclusionary rule. In other words, police could still use the evidence in court even though the technically gathered it illegally.

The Supreme Court has also created a legal environment that provides cops broad authority to shoot armed citizens, even if the police are violating the Constitution. For instance, in County of Los Angeles v. Mendez (2017) the Court effectively held that police can shoot a person in their own home even if the officers are violating the individual’s constitutional rights.

Qualified Immunity and the Incorporation Doctrine

Officers who violate no-knock rules or more broadly infringe on rights protect by the Constitution could still face lawsuits. But the qualified immunity defense creates an almost insurmountable legal barrier for victims of police abuse.

Through a series of Supreme Court opinions, federal courts created a qualified immunity defense out of thin air, making it nearly impossible to hold law enforcement officers responsible for actions taken in the line of duty. In order to move ahead with a suit, the plaintiff must establish that it was “clearly established” that the officer’s action was unconstitutional. The “clearly established” test erects an almost insurmountable hurdle to those trying to prove excessive force or a violation of their rights. As a result, police rarely face consequences for actions taken in the line of duty, no matter how egregious the violation of rights protected by the Constitution.

Significantly, were it not for the dubious “incorporation doctrine” made up by the Supreme Crout based on the 14th Amendment that purportedly empowers the federal government to apply the Bill of Rights to the states, these cases would have never gone to federal court and we wouldn’t have these blanket rules.

A lot of people believe that the Bill of Rights always applied to state governments. This is simply not true. The Bill of Rights was never intended to bind the actions of state governments. The application of the federal Bill of Rights to the states came about through a series of federal court cases based on the 14th Amendment.

Many conservatives and libertarians support the incorporation doctrine because they think federal courts will protect individual rights from getting trampled by tyrannical state and local governments. That sounds good in theory, but it rarely works that way in practice. In most cases, federal courts expand government power and cement it in legal stone, as we’ve seen with no-knock warrants and qualified immunity. And because of the incorporation doctrine, these expansions of power are not limited to the state where the case occurs.

In effect, the Court sets precedents that become universally applied across the U.S. In terms of local policing, the incorporation doctrine and the application of the federal Bill of Rights to state and local governments protect police officers, allow no-knock warrants, and allow cops to shoot individuals with little fear of legal repercussions — in every city, county and state in the U.S. from Honolulu, Hawaii to West Quoddy Head, Maine.

State and local governments can place more strict restrictions on police officers beyond what the SCOTUS legal framework allows. For instance, Louisville banned no-knock warrants after cops shot Taylor to death. But this rarely happens. In a federalized system, most states and localities defer to the legal requirements set forth by the High Court. The centralization of the legal system leads to a centralization of policy.

A decentralized system where cases were heard under state law and state constitutions would undoubtedly have problems. Some states would probably extend almost complete protection to law enforcement officers just like the federalized system. But surely some would be better.

It might be hyperbole to say the Supreme Court and the incorporation doctrine killed Breonna Taylor. But they certainly created the system that made the events leading up to her death possible. And I would argue the system functions just as designed. It empowers government and protects its agents at your expense. If you don’t want outcomes as we saw in Louisville, stop centralizing power in D.C.

 

 

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Louisville Metro Police release findings from Breonna Taylor investigation: Here’s what’s in the massive file

The Louisville Metro Police Department has released the findings from its internal investigation into the case of Breonna Taylor’s death. The investigation, which was carried out by LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit, has 4,470 pages of investigative reports, interviews, and evidence reports, as well as hundreds of photos, 251 videos, 148 of which are interviews, and 57 are from body cameras.

Around 12:40 a.m. on March 13, Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by the Louisville Metro Police Department officers after they executed a “no-knock warrant,” and forced entry into her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky. Officers said that they announced themselves as police before entering because they considered the operation to be low-risk. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker said he did not hear any announcement, and mistakenly believed the cops to be home invaders.

Walker fired a shot, hitting officer Jonathan Mattingly in the leg. Investigators claim that police returned fire, and 32 rounds were shot into the apartment. Six rounds struck Taylor, killing her quickly.

The files released by LMPD include hundreds of photos, including over 1,200 images taken from the bullet-ridden apartment that features a shattered sliding glass door, and shell casings strewn on the ground near the front door.

There are photos of the blood-soaked wallet and pants of Mattingly, who was struck in his femoral artery and required emergency surgery. There are photos of Walker’s Glock 9mm gun that was recovered under the bed inside the apartment. Walker was a licensed gun owner in Kentucky.

The report includes transcripts of video interviews from Kenneth Walker, who told investigators than he and Taylor were “scared to death” when they heard banging on the apartment door. He feared it was Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover.

There are interviews with LMPD officers involved with the Breonna Taylor case, including Detective Myles Cosgrove, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, and Detective Brett Hankison, who fired their weapons into the apartment. Hankinson was fired from the LMPD in June after being accused of “wantonly and blindly” firing 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment “without supporting facts” that his “deadly force was directed at a person.”

In an interview with authorities, Mattingly claimed that the raid team knocked on Taylor’s door six or seven times, and yelled, “Police, search warrant!” He estimated that the team knocked for about 45 seconds to a minute. After no response, they used a battering ram to breach the door.

“As soon as I cleared it, I’m face on, about probably 20 feet away right down the hallway,” Mattingly said. “There’s a bedroom door on the right and there’s a – the male and the female.”

Mattingly claimed there was a man in a “stretched out position with his hands, with a gun.”

“And as soon as I clear, he fires – boom,” he said. “My mind’s going, this ain’t right. You know, something’s off here. Because all of the doors I’ve made entry and I’ve never seen this.”

“Soon as the shot hit, I could feel heat in my leg. And so I just returned fire,” Mattingly explained.

It also includes interviews with detectives Tony James, Michael Campbell, Michael Nobles, and Joshua Jaynes, who sought the warrant at Breonna’s address.

Jaynes claimed that Glover was receiving “suspicious” mail at Taylor’s apartment, which was allegedly “verified through a postal inspector.” On May 19, he admitted that he didn’t have evidence that the parcels Glover was receiving at her home were suspicious. Instead, Jaynes asked Mattingly to verify the deliveries. According to a report by the Public Integrity Unit reported by the Daily Mail, Mattingly told Jaynes that “Glover was not receiving suspicious packages at the address.”

Jaynes claimed that he had a feeling that the packages were suspicious through his “training and experience.” Jaynes admitted that he “could have worded it a little bit differently there.” He insisted that he was not trying to mislead the judge, who signed the warrant.

“It was just in my opinion, that when I reach out to [Mattingly], the end-all-be-all was gonna be from a US Postal Inspector Office or the post office,” Jaynes.

Jaynes was placed on administrative reassignment after the shooting. No drugs were found at Taylor’s home.

There are interviews with Shively Police Department officers, who reportedly told LMPD officers that Taylor was not getting packages for Glover delivered to her apartment.

There are also interviews with S.W.A.T. officers that arrived on the scene, including Lt. Dale Massey, who described the execution of the warrant as an “egregious act.”

Sgt. Michael Burns told investigators that Jaynes never mentioned that the LMPD was conducting a raid and the S.W.A.T. team was unaware of the raid. “(That warrant) was mentioned in our brief, but it made it seem like it was gonna be down the road and it was a low-risk search warrant,” Burns said.

A key witness who police claim heard officers announce their presence at Taylor’s apartment, but the neighbor said the exact opposite in his initial interview, according to The Courier-Journal.

Taylor’s autopsy report showed that one bullet likely killed the 26-year-old after it struck her pulmonary artery and severely damaged one of her lungs.

Also in the investigation, there is a Kentucky State Police ballistics report, which did not confirm or deny that Walker’s gun was the weapon used to shoot the officer.

A search of Walker’s cell phone “found numerous conversations about drug trafficking,” the investigation discovered, according to the Daily Mail.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said, “I urge all to be sensitive that these files contain information and images that are traumatic and painful.”

Taylor’s death at the hands of police has ignited anti-police brutality protests nationwide since the early summer.

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Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron responds to racially charged criticism over Breonna Taylor case: ‘It is repugnant’

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron responded to racially charged criticism launched at him for his handling of the Breonna Taylor investigation, saying the names he’s been called are “repugnant.”

“It is so unfortunate that because I have a different political philosophy and because in my role as the attorney general and as the special prosecutor in the Breonna Taylor investigation, because I led with the facts and the truth, and had that lead to the conclusion, somehow I betrayed my race,” Cameron told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview Thursday.

After Cameron announced that the officers involved in Taylor’s death would not be charged with murder, outraged commentators called him names like “sellout negro,” “Uncle Tom,” and said he was “skinfolk” but not “kinfolk.” The only charge was issued against one officer for wanton endangerment.

“It is repugnant. It is so disappointing, but it’s par for the course,” Cameron said in response to his critics. “Anytime someone stands for the truth, and when that truth is different from a narrative that has been pushed by others, this is how they respond.”


Kentucky AG responds to harsh criticism he faced on Breonna Taylor decision

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“I’m here tonight to say that enough is enough,” he added. “Black Republicans, folks that believe in the truth … we are going to stand up.

“That’s what I did in presenting all of the information to the grand jury in the Breonna Taylor investigation, and that is what I’m charged to do. That is my responsibility as the attorney general of the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” he continued.

On Sept. 23, Cameron held a news conference to announce the results of the state attorney general’s investigation into Taylor’s shooting death.

TheBlaze covered the news conference and the facts of the night Taylor died as recounted by Cameron:

When the three officers charged into Taylor’s apartment around 1 a.m. March 13, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired one shot at them. The officers were not in uniform, and Walker said he thought it was a home invasion. Walker shot Mattingly in the leg. The three officers returned fire with more than 20 shots. Taylor was shot five times.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron said that despite reports that it was a no-knock raid, the officers did knock and announce themselves before entering the apartment.

Cameron said that because the police were fired upon first, the returned fire was justified and Kentucky state law prevented him from charging the police with Taylor’s killing. Two of the officers Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, did not face any charges. The third officer, former LMPD Sgt. Brett Hankison, was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for allegedly firing his gun recklessly.

Asked by Carlson to dispel the biggest “myth” surrounding the facts of the shooting, Cameron criticized the claim that the police officer who was allegedly shot by Kenneth Walker actually shot himself.

“Well, the biggest myth that is being promoted right now is the idea that Sgt. Mattingly, one of the office officers who was administering the search warrant in the morning hours at Breonna Taylor’s apartment, was shot by friendly fire, meaning shot by another officer,” Cameron said. “Look, I’ve taken to calling this a conspiracy theory. In order to believe this narrative that’s being promoted by the defense attorney in Louisville, Kentucky, you have to believe, (1) to defy physics and disregard the trajectory analysis, but you have to believe that the officer that was standing outside the apartment shooting into the apartment, that he had a magic bullet, and that that bullet went through the apartment unit and then made a sharp turn left without any obstruction or any impediment to match it up with the entry point of the wound that Sergeant Mattingly suffered.

“It is a silly notion; it’s one of the biggest myths that has been promoted here in the last few weeks,” Cameron continued. “Before three weeks ago and before this defense attorney uttered this statement, it was a foregone conclusion that what happened that evening was that Kenny Walker, Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, fired a shot at the officers. The officers responded and returned fire, justified in doing so because they had been fired upon. And the tragedy, and again, I’ve said this from the very beginning, the tragedy here is that Breonna Taylor was in that hallway as well and was hit.

“But the tragedy doesn’t allow for me to not present the facts and the truth, and that’s what we’ve done here,” he said.

Cameron blamed celebrity and media commentators for driving false narratives about the shooting, leading to confusion about what happened.

“Well, again, there were a lot of people inside and outside, a lot of celebrities, a lot of folks that were either misrepresenting the facts because it was to their advantage, or didn’t know all the information,” Cameron said. “They made conclusions first and then want to cherry-pick the facts to meet those conclusions. I don’t have that luxury as the attorney general here in the commonwealth. My responsibility is to the truth and to the information, and then that is ultimately what leads to the conclusion. We presented all the information to the grand jury. Ultimately, we presented to them as well the fact that the officers, Mattingly and Cosgrove, were fired upon and they were justified in returning their fire.

“We obviously have a prosecution into a third officer that was there that night,” he continued. “I can’t get into the specifics because that is an ongoing prosecution, but again, a lot of folks had already made up their mind and weren’t interested in what the truth is, and now are still trying to cherry-pick so that they can fashion a narrative that meets their agenda and advances their own interests.”

Since Cameron delivered his news conference in September, several new facts have come to light that raise questions about the findings the Kentucky attorney general’s office presented.

Bodycam footage made public days after the investigation’s findings were released appear to show Louisville Metro Police Department officers and SWAT team members breaking department policy regarding officer-involved shooting incidents.

As Leon Wolf wrote for TheBlaze:

Notably, for obvious reasons, officers who are involved in a shooting are prohibited per LMPD policy from being involved in the investigation of those shootings and are furthermore explicitly required to be promptly separated from the scene and paired with a “peer support” escort who can both comfort shaken officers and also vouch for the fact that the officers did not fabricate evidence or otherwise adulterate the crime scene.

Videos taken of the shooting aftermath show that this policy was flagrantly disregarded, particularly by the now-terminated Hankison and Cosgrove, and that the SWAT and Public Integrity Unit officers who were there complained aloud about the officers they were investigating still being “in the mix” and even actually in the active crime scene. One of the other officers involved in the raid was also observed to have left the scene and been canvassing witnesses.

Also, a ballistics report released recently contradicted Cameron’s claim that Walker shot first and struck Mattingly and that friendly fire was ruled out.

From the New York Post:

Kentucky State Police said that “due to limited markings of comparative value,” the bullet that hit Mattingly was neither “identified nor eliminated” as coming from a 9mm pistol fired by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, the outlet said.

The ballistics report also contradicted Cameron’s claim that the cops only carried .40-caliber handguns, when the shot that hit Mattingly was a 9mm.

The report said Police Officer Brett Hankison had also been issued a 9mm handgun.

A separate FBI ballistics report has been received by Cameron’s office but has not yet been released.

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Commentary: Reasons continue to emerge to doubt the results of the Breonna Taylor investigation

The report released last week by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron painted a convincing picture of a clearly justified police shooting. According to the report, the cops clearly knocked first and fired into Taylor’s apartment only after one of the officers, Sgt. John Mattingly, was shot first by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

Based on these facts, the shooting appears to be a tragedy but not a criminal homicide. Walker, for his part, appears to have had a legitimate belief that he was defending his girlfriend from an intruder (who might well have been Taylor’s apparently dangerous drug dealer ex-boyfriend whose bad information led to the evening’s tragic events). The police, having been shot first, had no reasonable alternative but to return fire.

Sounds like an open-and-shut case, right? Not so fast. Since Cameron’s report was issued last week, a steady trickle of facts has emerged that casts doubt on the integrity of the investigation and the truthfulness of the Louisville Police Department.

The first revelation that generated questions about the investigation actually dropped this month and centers around the use of body cameras. In 2012, the Louisville Police Department began a massive research project on the effectiveness of body cameras in certain test units. The researchers concluded that outfitting every officer on the force with a body camera would “yield several positive results for police personnel and for police-community relations including a reduction in use-of-force, reduction in civilian complaints, and reduction in assaults on officers.” The department accordingly launched a very public program designed to ensure that all patrol divisions, SWAT, and K9 units would immediately be equipped with body cameras.

So when the Taylor shooting first became a source of public controversy, the immediate question everyone asked was, “What does the body camera footage say? Let’s see it.”

The public was told by former LMPD chief Steve Conrad that the officers in the particular division that carried out the raid were somehow not wearing body cameras. A person possessed of even minimal foresight could have predicted that sending police to bust down the door of a suspected drug stash house in the middle of the night would lead to exactly the kind of scenario where having a body camera would be handy to avoid exactly the kind of scenario that is being played out. Yet LMPD insisted that there simply was no body camera footage available because somehow none of the officers present was wearing one.

That, however, has turned out not to be true. In response to a public records request from Vice News, police turned over a large volume of crime scene photos from the night of Taylor’s shooting. One of them captures Detective Tony James, who was present for the raid, clearly wearing a body camera over his right shoulder. Myles Cosgrove, the officer who fired the shot that killed Breonna Taylor, was also photographed, and a body camera harness was clearly visible, but the body camera itself was nowhere to be found.

The LMPD has repeatedly refused to explain even whether James’ camera was turned on, and if it was not, why it was not, nor why Cosgrove was wearing a body camera harness apparently without a body camera.

Additional footage taken by body cameras of the patrol officers and SWAT teams who arrived later at the scene show that the officers involved in the raid committed several flagrant violations of LMPD policies that are designed to ensure the integrity of investigations into officer-involved shootings, leading to questions about the integrity of the crime scene and of the witness statements that were taken after the fact.

Notably, for obvious reasons, officers who are involved in a shooting are prohibited per LMPD policy from being involved in the investigation of those shootings and are furthermore explicitly required to be promptly separated from the scene and paired with a “peer support” escort who can both comfort shaken officers and also vouch for the fact that the officers did not fabricate evidence or otherwise adulterate the crime scene.

Videos taken of the shooting aftermath show that this policy was flagrantly disregarded, particularly by the now-terminated Hankison and Cosgrove, and that the SWAT and Public Integrity Unit officers who were there complained aloud about the officers they were investigating still being “in the mix” and even actually in the active crime scene. One of the other officers involved in the raid was also observed to have left the scene and been canvassing witnesses.

At the risk of overstating the obvious, it is not good to have cops who are under investigation for a shooting mucking around alone at the scene of the shooting for hours after the fact or speaking alone to potential witnesses, if for no other reason than to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the investigation.

This is especially important because of the controversy surrounding the critical question of whether officers knocked and announced themselves as police. Police say that they found a witness who corroborates their claim that they knocked. That witness, Aaron Sarpee, initially told police on March 21 that he did NOT hear officers identify themselves as police.

He was unequivocal — he saw the police cruisers outside and he saw some of the officers in uniform, but no one identified themselves as police when they knocked.


The Only Witness Who Heard Police Announce Themselves at Breonna Taylor’s Door Changed His Story

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Two months later, in a May 15 interview, Sarpee told PIU investigator Sgt. Amanda Seeyle, “It’s been so long now. … I remember some of it,” and eventually told her that he heard someone say, “This is the cops.” Meanwhile, against this admittedly shaky testimony, over a dozen other witnesses allegedly stated that they did NOT hear anyone announce themselves as police. We still do not know whether any of these witnesses’ statements were provided to the grand jury or considered in their deliberations, or if any of them testified in front of the grand jury.

Finally, it should be noted that ballistics information released over the weekend does not support AG Cameron’s claim that Walker shot first and struck one of the officers. The ballistics report from the LMPD PIU was not able to match the bullet pulled from the thigh of Sgt. Mattingly. A separate FBI ballistics report has not yet been released. Cameron said last week that friendly fire had been ruled out as the source of the bullet that struck Mattingly because Walker’s gun was a 9mm and the officers involved in the raid were issued .40 caliber weapons. However, Walker’s attorney claims that a review of Hankison’s file indicates that Hankison was also issued a 9mm weapon; when the Louisville Courier-Journal requested to review those records, it was stonewalled.

I am not claiming that I know for sure what happened on the fateful night that Breonna Taylor was shot. But the problem is, it’s difficult for anyone else to make that claim, either. And the conduct of the LMPD on that night (and since) has opened the window for those who are skeptical of police who have an obvious motive to lie or shade the facts to forever disbelieve the narrative that the LMPD is now offering us. And the end result of these actions will only be to continue to erode the bond of trust between police and the citizenry that is necessary for all of us to live in peace.

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Louisville protests peaceful on third evening after Breonna Taylor decision

Protesters in Louisville, Kentucky, marched and rallied peacefully for several hours as of 11:00 p.m. EST on Friday, in what was the third evening of demonstrations held in protest of a grand jury’s decision Wednesday not to charge three police officers in the death of Breonna Taylor, who was killed in a police raid in March.

What are the details?

Early in the evening, the mood appeared tense as some protesters were seen yelling and antagonizing police officers who were on the scene. Much of the footage available was captured by “independent guy on the scene” Brendan Gutenschwager, who reported that media and cameras were welcomed by demonstrators on Friday.

One apparent organizer was seen on video declaring that protesters would be “going to war tonight,” and advising those with pre-existing conditions not to stay out past the city-imposed 9:00 p.m. curfew while warning that they would likely end up in jail overnight.

The same man led the gathering in a moment of silence to honor the memory of Breonna Taylor.

Protesters marched to the First Unitarian Church of Louisville ahead of curfew, as they had done the night before. Just like Thursday night, the church offered demonstrators sanctuary from arrest, as the house of worship is exempt from the curfew rules.

Another observer reported just ahead of curfew, “Currently calm in Louisville, KY at the church sanctuary. No destruction of property, looting, arson, or rioting in sight. Lots of car horns for support.”

A reporter from WBZ-TV reported more than an hour after curfew that “Organizers of this #JusticeforBreonnaTaylor rally just told everyone to go home safely, after four peaceful hours rallying and marching throughout the city”

It was a welcomed night of calm (as of this writing) after there were scenes circulated Thursday night of protesters smashing glass with bats.

Also on Thursday night, the doors of the Louisville City Library were smashed, and an activist tossed a flare inside. Two dozen people were arrested.

On Wednesday, the day of the grand jury’s decision, tensions were high. A riot was declared, and 127 people were arrested — including two reporters from The Daily Caller, and a state Rep. Attica Scott (D).

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Women’s March co-founder: Black Republican Kentucky AG is a ‘sellout negro’

Women’s March co-founder Tamika Mallory called Republican Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who is black, a “sellout negro” for not two charging officers in the death of Breonna Taylor.

Mallory launched the stinging attack on Cameron during a news conference Friday held by Benjamin Crump, an attorney representing the Taylor family, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

“Daniel Cameron is no different than the sellout negroes that sold our people into slavery and helped white men to capture our people, to abuse them, and to traffic them while our women were raped, while our men were raped by savages,” Mallory said. “That is who you are, Daniel Cameron. You are coward, you are a sellout, and you were used by the system to harm your own mama, your own black mama.”

“We have no respect for you, no respect for your black skin,” she continued.


Women’s March Leader Uses Racial Slur in Rant Against Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron

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Cameron has been the subject of vile insults in the days following a grand jury’s decision not to charge two officers for their roles in Breonna Taylor’s death. The third officer in the case was charged with wanton endangerment.

Earlier this week, Cheryl Dorsey, a retired Los Angeles police sergeant, said Cameron “should be ashamed of himself” and called the black attorney “skinfolk” but not “kinfolk.”

Mallory repeated that insult, using the same “skinfolk” but not “kinfolk” verbiage in her speech on Friday.

The grand jury’s decision also resulted in widespread rioting in Louisville, Kentucky, and cities across the country. In Louisville, two police offers were shot and wounded as a result of the riots.

According to the Free Beacon, “Mallory’s racial views have stirred controversy in the past, and her anti-Semitic comments helped lead to the Democratic National Committee withdrawing its sponsorship of the Women’s March.”

“She and fellow organizer Bob Bland defended Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and reportedly parroted his contention that Jewish people led the American slave trade,” the Free Beacon report noted.

During the announcement of the grand jury decision, Cameron started by offering condolences to Taylor’s family.

“Every day, this family wakes up to the realization that someone they loved is no longer with them,” he said. “There’s nothing I can offer today to take away the grief and heartache this family is experiencing as a result of losing a child, a niece, a sister, and a friend.” But “the criminal law is not meant to respond to every sorrow and grief.”

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Commentary: The grand jury made the right decision in Breonna Taylor’s death. And that’s the problem.

Protesters predictably took to the streets in anger after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced the charges against former Louisville Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Brett Hankison on Wednesday.

Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment. It’s a felony charge, but it has nothing to do with the fact that the officers shot and killed Breonna Taylor in her home during an overnight raid. Hankison was charged because he recklessly shot into the building and surrounding apartments. The two other officers involved were not charged at all.

Legally, it was probably the right call. And that’s the problem. That’s why it’s so frustrating.

Taylor was suspected to be connected to her ex-boyfriend’s drug trafficking activity. So the police had a warrant that legally allowed them to break into Taylor’s apartment after midnight on March 13. The warrant didn’t require them to knock, although Cameron claims they did.

Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, was also in the apartment. He was a legal gun owner. When men, not in uniform, broke in the apartment in the middle of the night, he did what almost anyone with a gun might do — he used that gun to defend himself, his loved one, and their property from aggressors.

He didn’t know he was shooting at cops. He thought it was a home invasion. Which is, by the way, an exceedingly reasonable thought to have when someone suddenly begins beating down your door in the middle of the night.

So in the heat of the moment, Walker fired one shot, which hit one of the officers in the leg. The officers then sprayed roughly two dozen bullets into and around the apartment, with six of them hitting Taylor. Walker was left inside to call 911, sobbing inconsolably, as he called for help for his dying girlfriend and tried to make sense of what had just happened.


AUDIO: 911 call from Kenneth Walker night Breonna Taylor died

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Once Walker fired that shot, the officers were legally enabled to use deadly force against Taylor and Walker. Every one of those 20+ bullets was legally justified because of Walker’s one shot.

Breonna Taylor was not a violent criminal. At this point, there’s no proof that she’s a criminal at all. Police didn’t find any drugs, drug money, or illegal weapons in her apartment after they killed her. The problem isn’t the charge against Hankison; the problem is the decisions that led to that violent confrontation in the first place.

If police are going to be protected in situations where they have to use deadly force against suspects — which they must be in order to do their jobs — then they have a responsibility to avoid creating unnecessary situations in which that deadly force must be used, like those LMPD officers did the night Taylor was killed.

Police should not have gotten a no-knock warrant in this situation. Police should not have been sent to break down her door overnight in a surprise raid on the off chance she had some illegal items in her home. She was a 26-year-old emergency medical technician. She wouldn’t have been difficult to find or arrest any number of other ways, if an arrest was even justified.

But because a potential nonviolent drug offender was treated with such aggression, she was killed, her boyfriend was put in an impossible and traumatic situation, a police officer was shot, another was fired and charged with three felony counts, and public trust for law enforcement took another hit.

And in the end, taxpayers with no role or responsibility in the situation footed the bill for the $12 million settlement the city paid Taylor’s family in a civil lawsuit.

A citizen was killed in her home by the state, and while an officer was held accountable for bullets that went through apartment walls, no officers were held accountable for the bullets that pierced Breonna Taylor’s body and ended her life.

We need to focus on making sure police are made to carry out their duties in a way that maximizes public safety and doesn’t violate people’s rights. We have to make sure people like Breonna Taylor don’t get treated as expendable because of their proximity to drugs. We have to fight for the change that prevents these encounters from occurring, so we don’t have to wait for a charging decision in fleeting hope for some form of justice after someone has been wrongly killed.

Regardless of what you think of Breonna Taylor, or what you think of police, we should all be able to agree that a system that produces this outcome when it works as intended needs to be altered and improved.

Breonna Taylor’s life can’t be restored, and the pain and trauma felt by her loved ones will last a lifetime. I just pray that the lessons learned from this tragedy can be used to save lives like hers in the future.

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Buildings, vehicles vandalized on second night of Breonna Taylor protests, but no recorded attacks on citizens or police after two cops were shot Wednesday

Protests in Louisville were less violent Thursday night, calming down significantly from the previous night, during which two Louisville Metropolitan Police Department officers were shot, the Courier Journal reported.

Thursday was the second night since the grand jury decision not to charge any officers for killing Breonna Taylor during a raid on her home in March. One former officer, Brett Hankison, was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment, related to his allegedly shooting recklessly into surrounding apartments — not to the fact that Taylor was shot and killed.

The Courier Journal reported that 24 people were arrested overnight Thursday, down from 127 the night before. Some of the arrests were for unlawful assembly and failure to disperse, and others, including a state representative, Attica Scott, were charged with felony rioting.

Local reports say protesters numbered in the hundreds, mostly marching through the city and chanting. Some protesters reportedly confronted armed militia members who said they had come to the city to protect property, but those confrontations did not escalate into violence.

Police say some businesses and buses were damaged by vandals. Social media videos show some protesters carrying bats and smashing windows. Louisville police indicated that only “several” marchers were involved in the vandalism. One person tossed a flare through a broken window at the library.

After the curfew, protesters took refuge in the First Unitarian Church, where church leaders were allowing people to gather on the property to avoid arrest. While police appeared to line up outside the church for some time, protesters were eventually allowed to leave after police concluded their investigation at the library.

“Contrary to rumors on social media, the LMPD, at no time, was waiting for ‘a decision from legal about whether or not they can storm the property,'” an LMPD Facebook post read. “No arrests were made for being on church property. No National Guard was deployed to address these issues. Officers remained at 4th and York in order to secure the area so maintenance could address the library windows that were broken and an arson investigation begun. Once that was complete, police left the area and protestors were given directions on how to leave the church and head home and were able to walk back to their vehicles.”

Louisville police declared a state of emergency earlier this week in advance of the attorney general’s announcement about charges against the officers, which foreshadowed a decision officials knew protesters would be unhappy with. The windows of some federal buildings had been boarded up, and in-person court hearings were changed to virtual meetings this week for fear of unrest.

Two police officers were shot Wednesday night. Police arrested 26-year-old Larynzo Johnson in connection with the shooting. Both of the officers, Maj. Aubrey Gregory and Officer Robinson Desroches, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Johnson has been charged with two counts of first-degree assault of a police officer and 14 counts of wanton endangerment of a police officer.

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Media Declares “Violence Is Inevitable” As 2 Cops Shot In Louisville; Reporters Arrested In Aggressive Police Crackdown

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

As we reported last night, protesters hit the streets in Louisville, NYC, LA, Denver, Oakland, Washington DC, and other cities across the US after a Kentucky grand jury decided that no officers would be charged in the killing of Breonna Taylor, a tragic accident that was the result of officers serving a “no-knock” warrant.

In Louisville, the city where Taylor was shot and killed, 2 police were shot as gunfire broke out downtown after hundreds “peacefully” marched earlier in the evening. But as has become distressingly familiar, the real hard-core agitators came out after dark. A suspect in the shooting of the two officers was taken into custody shortly after, but he wasn’t the only “protester” who was packing heat at the “non-violent demonstration.”

Amazingly, left-leaning media outlets had the gall to frame the shooting of two police as an “inevitable”, while framing the events of last night in distorted terms that served to support their narrative of a corrupt justice system absolving three murderers, instead of reporting the facts: that a jury of their peers – not some unassailable magistrate – decided on the indictments for the three officers.

The Daily Beast reported that none of the officers were charged for Breonna Taylor’s killing. While that’s technically true – officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into a nearby occupied apartment, not for the shots that killed Taylor, which were fired by a colleague – the result is misleading, and intentionally so, we suspect.

But we digress. Circling back to the events of Wednesday night, the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department – better known as the LMPD – aggressively enforced curfew violations after the shooting. Several reporters – including two journalists for the Daily Caller – were arrested during the sweep, and despite protests from their editors, were charged with breaking curfew and attending an “unlawful” assembly. It’s believed that dozens of protesters and reporters were taken into custody during the sweep of Jefferson Square, which has served as the base for BLM protesters who have been out demonstrating every night for the past 118 days.

As far as violence goes, this video has gone viral after being shared by several mainstream media outlets.

The DC reporters arrested included Jorge Ventura and Shelby Talcott.

When editors reached out, the department refused to budge.

Circling back to the wounded officers, Interim LMPD chief Robert Schroeder confirmed the two officers had been shot and sustained life-threatened injuries, and that a suspect was in custody. One of the officers was shot in the abdomen, while the the other was shot in the thigh.

“I am very concerned about the safety of our officers,” Schroeder said. “Obviously we’ve had two officers shot tonight, and that is very serious. … I think the safety of our officers and the community we serve is of the utmost importance,” Schroeder said, according to the Courier-Journal.

As of 11 pm local time on Thursday, police had arrested 46 people, which includes those arrested in the sweep of Jefferson Square, which reportedly happened around 8 pm.

Independent video journalist Brendan Gutenschwager narrowly avoided arrest last night. Afterward, he chronicled the eerily silent streets and surveyed the damage.

Thousands gathered across NYC and LA, and hundreds more in Portland, Chicago, Atlanta, and other cities around the country as others marched “in solidarity”.

Expect the unrest to continue Thursday, as it has for nearly 120 days.

The post Media Declares “Violence Is Inevitable” As 2 Cops Shot In Louisville; Reporters Arrested In Aggressive Police Crackdown first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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VIDEO: Parked U-Haul truck distributes riot shields, signs, other supplies to BLM protesters in Louisville

Black Lives Matter protesters in Louisville, Kentucky, demonstrating against the outcome of the grand jury investigation into Breonna Taylor’s death were caught on video grabbing riot shields, anti-police banners, and other supplies from a parked U-Haul truck Wednesday.

Videos of the unusual incident posted on Twitter show protesters, many dressed in black bloc, charging toward the vehicle and grabbing ready-made banners saying, “Abolish the Police,” “Abolition Now,” and “Defend Black Lives.”

“We got shields over here!” someone can be heard shouting in a video posted by Daily Caller reporter Shelby Talcott.

“I need a long one,” another protester says as shields are being passed out in the video posted by independent reporter Brendan Gutenschwager,

In Gutenschwager’s video, a woman inside the U-Haul truck can be seen tossing black masks into the crowd.

What’s the background?

Violent riots erupted in downtown Louisville Wednesday following the decision in the Breonna Taylor case, in which one officer was charged with wanton endangerment and two other officers were not charged. Taylor was shot and killed during a drug raid on her home in March.

After the decision, protesters immediately took to the streets, starting small fires and setting off firecrackers. Twitter users reported the crowd continued to grow as the day went on and also noted the presence of armed and unidentified individuals that some referred to as a “militia.”

Then later Wednesday night, the Louisville Metro Police Department announced that two officers had been shot and wounded during the protests.

What else?

The suspicious U-Haul “riot shield transport” raises further speculation that the protests in Louisville were planned and perhaps organized and funded by an outside source.

It is not the first time that similarly suspicious activity has been connected to Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.

Earlier this year, mysterious stashes of bricks were being reported by social media users in several cities around the country as nationwide protests erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Then in some places ravaged by riots, it has been reported that large numbers of individuals arrested for rioting have been from out of state. Specifically, police in Kenosha reported that a whopping 102 of the 175 individuals arrested during riots there had out-of-town addresses.

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Two Daily Caller reporters arrested during Louisville protests

Two reporters from the conservative website the Daily Caller were arrested during the protests in Louisville, Kentucky, Wednesday night, and thus far authorities in Louisville appear determined to detain and charge them just like other suspects who were arrested as part of a mass sweep to enforce the city’s curfew.

The report from the Daily Caller indicates that reporters Shelby Talcott and Jorge Ventura were arrested as part of a massive sweep conducted by police, who reportedly did not respond to the reporters’ repeated insistence that they were members of the press.

Prior to their arrest, Ventura and Talcott recorded and tweeted some of the scenes of chaos in Louisville as they unfolded.

The reporters also recorded and tweeted the mass detention and the moments immediately preceding it.

Wednesday night, Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Ingersoll tweeted that he had notified the Louisville Metro Police Department that Talcott and Ventura were members of the press and that he expected them to be released shortly. Later, however, Ingersoll expressed his frustration that the Daily Caller’s reporters were going to be processed in exactly the same manner as the rioters they were covering.

However, as of Thursday, the reporters had not been released and no one from the Daily Caller had been permitted to talk to either Talcott or Ventura, leading Daily Caller co-founder Neil Patel to criticize the treatment of the Caller’s reporters and to threaten a lawsuit if the reporters were not permitted to exercise their First Amendment right to report on an ongoing news story.

In the thread, Patel noted that, unlike other media outlets, the Daily Caller has taken care to interview police and get their side of the story and tell it in a balanced way.

Patel concluded his thread with a warning: “The Louisville Police Department (@LMPD) is going to find out all about this in the form of a lawsuit unless things start changing fast.”

The Louisville Metro Police Department did not immediately return a request for comment on this story.

This is a developing story and will be updated as events warrant.

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VIDEO: Rioter hits Seattle police officer in back of head with metal baseball bat, explosives thrown at cops

Following Wednesday’s decision by a grand jury not to indict police officers on homicide charges in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, cities across the country erupted in protests and violence, including St. Petersburg, Portland, and Louisville, where two police officers were shot. In Seattle, riots erupted that included a vicious baseball bat attack on a police officer.

A shocking video from Wednesday night’s riots in Seattle shows a man dressed in all black violently smash a police officer in the back of the head with a metal baseball bat. The police officer was wearing a helmet, which may have saved his life.

The officer was attempting to wrest his bicycle back from a person in the crowd. The masked rioter sneaks up on the officer while he is distracted and steps into a swinging attack with the metal bat that hits the cop in the back of the helmet. The officer was able to keep his footing after being bashed in the head and escaped the violent mob.

The Seattle Police Department issued a press release on Wednesday night’s violence in the city. “Multiple officers were injured to include one who was struck in the head with a baseball bat cracking his helmet,” the statement said, which included photos of the officer’s damaged helmet.

The Seattle Police Department also noted that an individual threw an explosive at law enforcement officers at approximately 10:45 p.m. on Wednesday night. The incendiary device “exploded near waiting bike officers.”

When cops attempted to arrest the suspect, they were assaulted with glass bottles and rocks from the crowd of rioters. Police said they “deployed pepper spray and blast balls in an attempt to create space between the officers and the protestors.”

Agitators also cut wires powering the security cameras to the precinct and set dumpsters on fire, and more explosives were thrown at officers. Seattle Police declared the ongoing protest an unlawful assembly after several fireworks were fired at police.

The Seattle police said they arrested 13 individuals. Charges include property destruction, resisting arrest, failure to disperse, and assault on an officer.

Earlier this week, the Department of Justice announced that Seattle is one of three U.S. cities declared to be “anarchist jurisdictions,” along with Portland and New York City. The designation could cause those cities to lose federal funding.

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Colin Kaepernick says ‘the white supremacist institution of policing’ must ‘be abolished’

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick declared Wednesday that “the white supremacist institution of policing” must “be abolished,” after news broke that the three officers involved in the March raid that led to the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor would not be charged in her death.

What are the details?

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) held a much-anticipated press conference Wednesday afternoon explaining that a Louisville grand jury decided two of the officers involved would not be charged and that the third would face three counts of wanton endangerment for firing at other residences during the incident.

According to the Associated Press, Cameron warned, “There will be celebrities, influencers and activists who having never lived in Kentucky will try to tell us how to feel, suggesting they understand the facts of this case, that they know our community and the Commonwealth better than we do, but they don’t.”

He added, “Let’s not give in to their attempts to influence our thinking or capture our emotions.”

Kaepernick tweeted after the announcement:

“The white supremacist institution of policing that stole Breonna Taylor’s life from us must be abolished for the safety and well being of our people.”

The former NFL player has become a household name after sparking controversy years ago when he began kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games in protest of police brutality.

Since the death of George Floyd in late May, protests have been ongoing across the U.S. in the name of racial equality, with some descending into riots involving violence, looting, arson. The protests have given rise to an anti-police movement, and some activists have invoked Kaepernick in their demonstrations.

Protesters have often called for justice in the death of Breonna Taylor, as well as several other black Americans who have died during altercations with law enforcement.

What’s the background?

The night Taylor died, police conducted a raid on a residence where she was with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Walker opened fire on police, believing the situation was a break-in, and officers shot back, killing Taylor.

Initial reports claimed that law enforcement was executing a “no-knock” warrant, but Cameron said during his press conference that an independent witness had confirmed that officers did announce themselves before entering.

Louisville declared a state of emergency ahead of the grand jury announcement on Wednesday. During protests that night, two officers were shot and hospitalized with non-life-threatening wounds.

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Video: Protesters harass diners in Florida following Breonna Taylor decision in Kentucky

Protesters in St. Petersburg, Florida, expanded their demonstration to harass diners along the streets on Wednesday following a Louisville grand jury’s decision not to charge officers involved the the raid that led to the death of Breonna Taylor in March.

What are the details?

A reporter for the Tampa Bay Times reported on Twitter that “Protestors are now going restaurant by restaurant to chant at diners on Beach Dr. in St. Pete. A lot of diners yelled back, starting multiple confrontations. This one was the most significant. Protestors took over a couple’s table. Not sure why they were targeted specifically.”

The footage in the accompanying video shows a mob of protesters repeatedly chanting, “Stand up, fight back!” while facing diners at a restaurant before one apparent activist pulls up a seat at the table of a man and woman who were seated together outside the establishment.

The woman at the table quickly stands up and says, “Nope, this is my table!” and unsuccessfully attempts to move the activist from the chair before two more activists fill the remaining empty seats while flashing signs and joining the chant. Additional activists followed and stood to surround the couple.

One activist can be heard telling the man, “why don’t you shut up?” before the first activist who stole a seat told the woman, “I’ll knock your old-a** boyfriend the f*** out.”

Another activist is then seen blowing what appears to be a bullhorn at the couple, standing from a few feet away.

What’s the background?

Protests have been ongoing in cities across the U.S. for months since the death of George Floyd in late May, and Breonna Taylor’s name has been a frequent chant of demonstrators nationwide calling for justice after she was killed during a police raid.

Initial reports claimed that the raid was executed as a “no-knock” warrant, but Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) said during a press conference Wednesday that an independent witness reported that the police did announce themselves before entering the residence where Taylor was in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who has stated that he opened fire, believing the police to be robbers, and police fired back, killing Taylor.

Louisville was placed under a state of emergency ahead of Wednesday’s afternoon announcement that only one of the three officers involved in the raid would be charged in connection with the raid itself. The police officers’ use of force was deemed justified by the grand jury, but one officer was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment because he fired into other nearby residences. No officers were charged with Taylor’s death.

As of this writing, Louisville police have announced that two police officers have been shot in Louisville amid ongoing rioting. According to multiple local reports, their wounds are being described as non-life-threatening

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Louisville Police Department says one suspect in custody after two officers shot during Breonna Taylor protests

The interim chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department said that a suspect was in custody after the shooting of two officers during the violent protests over the death of Breonna Taylor.

Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder said in a short media briefing on Wednesday evening that the two officers were in stable condition, and that one was undergoing surgery.

Schroeder said that police were responding at about 8:30 p.m. to a call of shots being fired at the corner of First and Broadway streets when more shots rang out and two police were struck.

Those police were taken to University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Various videos taken during the shooting were circulated on social media soon afterward, including one reportedly from the police livestream from their Facebook page.

The FBI said they were helping with the investigation into the shooting.

Protests erupted immediately after the announcement that a grand jury had returned charges against only one of three police involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, a black woman, during a police raid in March. The third officer was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment over the shots made into neighboring apartments, but not for those that killed Taylor.

The mayor had announced a 72-hour curfew for the city beginning Wednesday from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m.

Here’s the video of the media briefing:


Louisville Metro Police Dept hold press conference following 2 officers shot

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Breaking: Two police officers shot during violent protests in Louisville over Breonna Taylor

The Louisville Metro Police Dept. said that two officers had been shot during the violent protests in Louisville, Kentucky, over the charges announced against one officer related to the death of Breonna Taylor.

Black Lives Matter protesters immediately denounced the announcement of charges against only one of the officers involved the controversial shooting death that happened during a police raid in March.

Police initially said that one officer had been shot but offered few details about the incident.

Later they confirmed that two officers had been shot.

Protesters took to the streets to demonstrate against the grand jury decision. Reporters and others on social media documented small fires being set off and firecrackers being fired off during many of the gatherings.

Reporters in the vicinity said that firecrackers were set off at about the same time as the gunshots.

Here’s more about the incident:


Police officer shot in Louisville: Report

www.youtube.com

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MSNBC guest blasts black Kentucky attorney general with racially charged remark: ‘He’s skinfolk, but he is not kinfolk’

A guest on MSNBC declared Wednesday that Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron “should be ashamed of himself” after announcing that the three police officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor will not be charged with murder, calling the black attorney general “skinfolk” but not “kinfolk.”

The racially charged comments, made by retired LAPD sergeant Cheryl Dorsey, came following a news conference held by Cameron announcing that only one officer, Sgt. Brett Hankison, would be charged with a crime, and that crime is not directly related to Taylor’s death. The other two officers, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, were placed on administrative leave but not charged by a grand jury.

Dorsey labeled the attorney general’s news conference “intellectually dishonest” and called his remarks “offensive” on MSNBC with anchor Ayman Mohyeldin.

She responded to a point made by Cameron about “celebrities, influencers, and activists” who don’t live in Kentucky creating a nonfactual narrative about what happened, saying that Cameron does not speak for black people.

“Let me just speak to this whole celebrity influencer thing, well if they can’t speak for Kentuckians, let me say this as a black woman: He does not speak for black folks,” Dorsey said.

“He’s skinfolk, but he is not kinfolk,” she continued. “And so just like he thinks they can’t speak for Kentucky, because he’s up there with a black face he does not speak for all of us.”

“This was not a tragedy. This was a murder. He should be ashamed of himself.”

Taylor was killed on March 13 when three officers entered her apartment while executing a warrant. Initial reports claimed the officers executed a “no-knock” warrant, but Cameron said a witness corroborated that the officers knocked and announced their presence before entering the apartment.

Police said Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired one shot at the officers, for which they returned fire. Walker said he thought the officers, who were not in uniform, were home invaders. Walker shot Mattingly in the leg and the three officers returned fire with more than 20 shots. Taylor was shot five times, fatally.

After reviewing the facts of the case as investigated by his office, Cameron announced that the use of force by Mattingly and Cosgrove was justified after having been fired upon by Walker. He said Kentucky law bars his office from pursuing criminal charges against the officers because their use of force was justified. Hankison has been indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree.

“The use of force by Mattingly and Cosgrove was justified to protect themselves,” Cameron said. “This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Ms. Breonna Taylor’s death. The truth is now before us. The facts have been examined and a grand jury comprised of our peers and fellow citizens has made a decision. Justice is not often easy. It does not fit the mold of public opinion, and it does not conform to shifting standards. It answers only to the facts and to the law.”

“There will be celebrities, influencers, and activists, who, having never lived in Kentucky, will try to tell us how to feel, suggesting they understand the facts of this case and that they know our community and the Commonwealth better than we do,” Cameron said.

“But they don’t,” he continued. “Let’s not give in to their attempts to influence our thinking or capture our emotions.”

The state attorney general’s announcement sparked immediate outcry and the city of Louisville is preparing for a night of civil unrest. The city is currently under a 72-hour curfew order, beginning Wednesday night at 9 p.m. and continuing through 6:30 a.m.

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BREAKING: One officer charged in Breonna Taylor’s death, mayor implements 72-hour curfew to limit potential riots

One former Louisville Metropolitan Police Department officer was charged Wednesday in the death of Breonna Taylor, with the two other involved officers avoiding charges altogether, USA Today reported.

Former LMPD Sgt. Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for allegedly firing his gun recklessly into Taylor’s apartment on March 13 during an overnight no-knock drug raid. Hankison was fired from the department for his actions that night.

The other two officers, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, had been placed on administrative leave, but were still with the department.

First degree wanton endangerment is defined as follows:

A person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person.

The charge is a class D felony that carries a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

When the three officers charged into Taylor’s apartment around 1 a.m. March 13, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired one shot at them. The officers were not in uniform, and Walker said he thought it was a home invasion. Walker shot Mattingly in the leg. The three officers returned fire with more than 20 shots. Taylor was shot five times.

The city of Louisville paid a settlement of $12 million to Taylor’s family as part of a civil lawsuit.

Louisville officials had been preparing for unrest after this announcement, as protesters have been calling for the firing and arrest of all three officers involved in the shooting since May. The mayor established a 72 hour curfew of from 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. each day. The LMPD declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, canceling officers’ time off requests and extending their hours.

There is already some indication of dissatisfaction with the charge. From the Associated Press:

Immediately after the announcement, people were expressing frustration that the grand jury did not do more.

“Justice has NOT been served,” tweeted Linda Sarsour of Until Freedom, a group that has pushed for charges in the case. “Rise UP. All across this country. Everywhere. Rise up for #BreonnaTaylor.”

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Officer involved in Breonna Taylor’s death sends message to fellow officers slamming protesters, FBI: ‘Don’t put up with their s**t’

A Louisville Metropolitan Police Department officer sent an email to approximately 1,000 fellow officers at 2 a.m. Tuesday criticizing protesters, city officials, department leadership, and the FBI as he awaits a decision on whether he will be charged in Breonna Taylor’s death, Vice News reported.

The email, written by Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and obtained by Vice News’ Roberto Aram Ferdman, foreshadowed a “rough” period to come as the city braces for potential unrest if Mattingly, Officer Myles Cosgrove, and Sgt. Brett Hankison are not charged in Taylor’s death this week.

“No matter the ineptitude in upper command or the mayor’s office, this is one of the greatest jobs on earth,” Mattingly wrote. “With that being said, these next few days are going to be tough. They are going to be long, they are going to be frustrating. They will put a tremendous amount of stress on your families.”

The Louisville Metro PD declared a state of emergency Monday in advance of an expected grand jury decision on whether to charge the three officers who executed the no-knock search warrant on Taylor’s home the night they shot and killed her. Hankison was fired, but Mattingly and Cosgrove are still with the department on administrative leave.

Mattingly told the other officers in the email that they didn’t deserve the abuse they will potentially face from protesters in coming days.

“You DO NOT DESERVE to be in this position,” Mattingly wrote. “The position that allows thugs to get in your face and yell, curse, and degrade you. Throw bricks, bottles, and urine on you and expect you to do nothing. It goes against EVERYTHING we were all taught in the academy. The position that if you make a mistake, during one of the most stressful times in your career, the department and FBI (who aren’t cops and would piss their pants if they had to hold the line) go after you for civil rights violations. Your civil rights mean nothing, but the criminal has total autonomy.”

Mattingly defended the officers’ actions the night Taylor was killed. After the officers broke in the door of Taylor’s apartment, Taylor’s boyfriend shot at them, saying he believed it was a home invasion, and they returned fire with approximately 20 shots. Five of them hit Taylor, killing her.

“Regardless of the outcome today or Wednesday, I know we did the legal, moral, and ethical thing that night,” Mattingly wrote. “It’s sad how the good guys are demonized, and criminals are canonized. Put that aside for a while, keep your focus and do your jobs that you are trained and capable of doing. Don’t put up with their s**t, and go home to those lovely families and relationships.”

The officers had a warrant for Taylor because she was believed to be connected to her ex-boyfriend’s drug trafficking operation. No drugs or money were found at her home.

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Louisville police declare state of emergency due to fear of riots that could follow Breonna Taylor decision

The Louisville Metropolitan Police Department declared a state of emergency for the city Monday in anticipation of the unrest that could follow a grand jury decision on whether or not to charge the three officers involved in the raid that killed Breonna Taylor in March, NBC News reported.

“In anticipation of Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s announcement in the Breonna Taylor case, I am declaring a state of emergency for the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD),” a memo from Chief Robert J. Schroeder to officers read.

What do we know?

The emergency declaration went into effect immediately Monday, and all officer time-off requests that had not already been approved were canceled. Under the emergency guidelines, officers will work 12-hour shifts.

Windows of federal buildings in the city, including the courthouse, have been boarded up. Hearings scheduled for this week have been changed to video conferences.

Attorney General Cameron is expected to announce this week whether charges will be filed against Sgt. Brett Hankison, Officer Myles Cosgrove, and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in Taylor’s death. Hankison was fired from the department for “an extreme indifference to the value of human life,” while the other two have been placed on administrative leave.

The city of Louisville paid Taylor’s family $12 million last week to settle a civil lawsuit.

What do we not know?

It is currently unknown whether grand jury deliberations have begun or not, so it is also unknown exactly when an announcement will be made on the fate of the three LMPD officers.

Background

Taylor was a 26-year-old emergency medical technician. She was in her apartment with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, when police officers in plain clothes burst in after midnight March 13. Officers had a warrant due to her connection with her ex-boyfriend, who is a convicted drug dealer.

Walker, allegedly believing a home invasion was taking place, shot one of the officers in the leg. The officers returned fire, shooting more than 20 bullets into the home, hitting Taylor five times. She died at the scene.

The incident was not widely publicized until about two months after it occurred, after which it gained national media attention. Along with the death of Ahmaud Arbery, which also made national news in May, and later the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the killings of black individuals sparked nationwide protests and riots that have persisted in the four months since.

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Louisville federal buildings boarded up as city braces for decision on whether cops will face charges for Breonna Taylor’s death

With a decision on whether or not to charge the police officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s killing anticipated this week, some federal buildings have been boarded up and in-person hearings have gone remote in Louisville, Fox News reported.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron will present the findings from the Taylor investigation to a grand jury this week and after that is expected to make an announcement about the fate of the three officers who executed a no-knock warrant on Taylor’s home in March and fatally shot her.

The federal courthouse downtown and the offices attached to the courthouse have had the windows boarded up. The courthouse will be closed to the public Monday through Friday, and scheduled in-person hearings will be conducted as video conferences.

Fox News reported that there was not an official reason given for the changes, but an unnamed official shed some light on the situation:

The order did not give a reason for the temporary closure but said it came at the request of the General Services Administration, which manages the buildings. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office in Louisville will be closed Sept. 21-25 “due to a court order,” according to the agency’s website.

An unnamed courthouse official told the Louisville Courier-Journal that the buildings would be closed this week in anticipation of a major announcement, but did not elaborate.

City and federal properties have been targeted by rioters in various cities over the past several months in response to police violence against minorities, including Taylor. A federal courthouse in Portland, for example, has been repeatedly vandalized by protesters during a streak of more than 100 straight days of protests.

The city of Louisville paid a $12 million settlement to Taylor’s family last week as part of a civil lawsuit over her killing.

Taylor was killed March 13 when officers broke into her home on a warrant that was part of a drug investigation after midnight. After Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired at the plainclothes officers upon entry, officers returned fire, hitting Taylor five times.

Walker, a legal gun owner, said he didn’t know the officers were law enforcement when he shot at them. He was initially charged with attempted murder of a police officer after hitting one of them in the leg, but the charges were later dropped. Walker has sued the city of Louisville for compensatory damages and to protect himself from being arrested again in connection with the incident.

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City of Louisville will announce ‘substantial’ financial settlement with the family of Breonna Taylor today

Multiple sources are reporting that the City of Louisville plans to announce on Tuesday what is being described as a “substantial” financial settlement in order to avoid further litigation with the family of Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by Louisville police officers on March 13.

In addition to the financial aspects of the settlement, the city is also expected to agree to a series of police reforms requested by the family, including a policy that all warrants be approved by a police commander before they are submitted to a judge for approval.

Additionally, a Jefferson County grand jury is expected to weigh possible criminal charges against the officers involved in the shooting this week.

The lawsuit, which was filed on April 27, alleged that Louisville police officers were negligent in the execution of a warrant for Taylor’s apartment and that they used excessive force. An amended complaint subsequently claimed that Louisville police were attempting to clear out the block where Taylor lived in order to gentrify it, an accusation which the city has strongly denied.

Taylor’s case has served as a flashpoint for a series of protests that have roiled Louisville and fed the flames of anti-police protests nationwide. Although the warrant in question listed Taylor’s name and address, it was clear that police’s investigation was centered on a suspected drug dealer named Jamarcus Glover, who had already been arrested by police at a location 10 miles from Taylor’s residence before the ill-fated raid on Taylor’s apartment. It remains unclear why Taylor’s residence was listed on the warrant, and no drugs or money were found in her apartment as a result of the raid.

Police claim that they knocked and announced themselves before entering Taylor’s apartment, but Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, has claimed that he and Taylor had no idea who was at their door on the night of the raid and that they believed they were being victimized by attempted robbers. When the door crashed in, Walker fired a shot at what he believed were the intruders, striking one of the officers in the leg. Walker was initially charged with attempted murder of the police officer, but those charges were later dropped amid public outcry.

Two of the three officers involved in the raid returned fire, killing Taylor. One of the officers, Brett Hankinson, has been fired by the police department after an investigation determined that he repeatedly fired “blindly” into the apartment. The other two officers involved in the raid have been reassigned to administrative duty while the case is being investigated.

Taylor’s case has rocked the city of Louisville and its police department and led in part to the dismissal of police chief Steve Conrad. Protesters have demanded that the other two police officers in the raid be fired and charged with murder and have also sought other reforms to the Louisville Police Department.

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Demi Lovato describes feeling shame over whiteness after high-profile killings of black people

Pop star Demi Lovato said she felt shame about being white because of killings of black people committed by white people in the past several months, she wrote in a piece for Vogue.

Lovato described the conflicted feelings she had about what she should do in response to apparent racial injustice.

“At first, I was self-conscious about speaking out about these issues because I didn’t want anyone to feel like it wasn’t genuine,” Lovato wrote. “I also felt like I wanted to call every person of color that I knew and apologize, which I know isn’t the right thing to do either. Like a lot of people, I didn’t know what to do.”

“All I knew was that I hated that I shared the same skin color as the people accused of committing heinous crimes against Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and many, many other Black lives,” Lovato said.

Lovato pointed out that after the video of Ahmaud Arbery’s killing was released to the public in May, her social media habits changed.

“My relationship with social media before lockdown was very typical,” Lovato said. “If you scroll down my feed, it was mainly all glamour shots and pictures of me looking cute and fancy. But then there’s this sudden shift around the time Ahmaud Arbery was killed. Now my feed is filled with information about racial injustice and what we can do to help.”

One effect of recent high-profile killings of black people by white people, and the subsequent protests, has been an increase in discussion about white privilege and a push for white people to reflect on what inherent advantages they might have in life because they are white.

Some of these discussions have gone to extreme levels, resulting in videos of white people kneeling before black people or white people being encouraged to wash the feet of black people as penance for the sins of white people against minorities.

More recently, there have been examples of protesters confronting white people in public places and attempting to harass or intimidate them into raising a fist in support of Black Lives Matter.

During one such scene in Washington, D.C., the mob chanted “White silence is violence” as they surrounded a woman who refused to raise her fist. Many, if not most, of the mob doing this was white. The woman later told a reporter she was supportive of Black Lives Matter and had even participated in marches, but didn’t feel right about raising her fist in that circumstance.

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Louisville police report details alleged drug trafficking connections that led to Breonna Taylor warrant

The Louisville Metropolitan Police Department released a report this week providing more details about Breonna Taylor’s alleged connections to drug trafficking that led police to obtain and execute a no-knock search warrant at her home in March, the Courier Journal reported.

Taylor was shot eight times and killed by police who broke into her home in the middle of the night on March 13. Police shot back after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a shot at them when they entered the apartment. No drugs or money were found at the apartment.

What’s in the report?

Recorded calls about bail money. During a call from jail on March 12, Jamarcus Glover (the main target in the drug probe) called a friend and told her that Taylor was keeping $8,000 of his money and that she had been “handling all of my money.” Glover and Taylor had dated a couple of years prior.

In January, in another call from jail, Glover called Taylor to ask her to arrange for obtaining bail money from a mutual associate.

Taylor posted bail for Glover twice in 2017, and there were 27 calls from Glover to Taylor while he was in jail at various points from January 2016 through January 2020.

Glover and Taylor seen leaving alleged drug house together. Police reportedly observed Taylor and Glover visiting a known drug house together on Feb. 13.

According to the report, in a call from jail the the same day Taylor was killed, Glover expressed confusion to an associate named Adrian Walker about why the police searched Taylor’s apartment when their only connection was the bail money, and Walker responded that it was probably because of the photos of them going to the drug house.

The mayor criticizes the report

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer criticized the Courier Journal’s publication of the information from LMPD’s report as “reckless” in a statement:

Breonna Taylor’s death was a tragedy. Period. Justice, peace and healing are what is needed for her, for her family and for our community. Today a news story was released that includes information related to the Breonna Taylor case, despite the fact that the Attorney General and FBI have insisted that the investigation remain confidential for the integrity of the judicial process as a whole. In addition, attorneys for Breonna’s family, the county attorney, and the civil attorneys for the officers are under a protective order that does not permit them to disclose evidence in this case. It is deeply reckless for this information, which presents only a small fraction of the entire investigation, to be shared with the media while the criminal process remains ongoing. It would be unjust to draw conclusions about this case before the investigation is complete and the full truth comes out. And, efforts to sway opinion and impact the investigation by releasing select information are wrong and divisive, at a time when our city needs unity more than ever before.

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