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Protesters Nationwide Respond to Bullshit Charges for Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor

Illustration for article titled Protesters Nationwide Respond to Bullshit Charges for Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor
Image: AP

Protesters gathered across the country on Wednesday night after it was announced that of the cops involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor, just one officer would be indicted on “wanton endangerment” charges—for firing his gun into the apartment next door.

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Demonstrations took place across every major American metropolis, in addition, of course, to Louisville, Kentucky, where people promptly flooded the streets as news of the indictment circulated.

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Though the gatherings were largely peaceful, multiple people appeared to be arrested during confrontations with Louisville police, who were firing pepper balls at demonstrators, Buzzfeed reports. Just before the 9 p.m. curfew took effect, two police officers were reportedly wounded by gunfire, though the circumstances are as yet unclear. A photographer for the Courier-Journal on the scene told the outlet that he saw “a line of officers move toward a gas station with rifles up. Shortly after, they had somebody pinned to the ground and cuffed.” He said he wasn’t there when the officers were shot.

A spokesman for the department confirmed that at least two officers were shot, with both in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries. One suspect has been arrested.

After months of anticipation, grand jurors elected to indict Brett Hankison on just three counts of first-degree “wanton endangerment,” on the basis that he threatened three people’s lives by firing through Taylor’s apartment into theirs. (None of the residents of the adjacent apartment were injured.) The charges carry a penalty of either one to five years in prison or a fine of $10,000. If Hankison is convicted, prison will not be mandatory.

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The two other officers involved, Sergeant John Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, who fired the shot that killed Taylor, will face no charges. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said on Wednesday said the officers were “justified in their use of force” because Taylor’s boyfriend fired at officers first.

Night blogger at Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

buriedaliveopener
BuriedAliveOpener

I don’t like anyone getting shot, that is an awful thing. But when you act like an occupying force and treat the people you purport to protect and serve like they are enemy combatants, you probably can’t be too surprised when some people act like it and start shooting back. Frankly, it’s surprising that more people don’t run up on officers.

Also, in light of disinformation being intentionally put out by authorities about Taylor’s death, we should make sure we get the facts straight. The right wing media, and others, are picking up on some misleading statements by the AG indicating that there was not a no-knock warrant. There absolutely was a no-knock warrant. (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/06/30/fact-check-police-had-no-knock-warrant-breonna-taylor-apartment/3235029001/). The police are now claiming that they actually decided to knock and announce at the scene, but they had still sought, and received, a no-knock warrant (I don’t believe the police here, but if they did get a no knock warrant but decided to knock and announce anyway, that raises an entirely separate set of questions).  Also, besides the police, only one other witness said he heard the police announce their presence. However, that witness initially claimed that he hadn’t heard any such announcement, and only said he did two interviews later. Meanwhile, 11 other witnesses said they did not hear any police announce their presence. They are flooding the zone with disinformation to delegitimize the anger, don’t let them do it.