It has been a year since 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was gunned down by policemen in her own home in Kentucky, and yet, no one has been held accountable for the crime. On Saturday, people from across America and the world demanded justice for the slain African-American Emergency Medical Technician, whose senseless murder is seen as one of the worst examples of race related crimes and police brutality in the US.
On March 13, Breonna and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker were fast asleep in their home in Louisville, Kentucky, when members of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) allegedly barged into their home shortly after midnight. The three policemen; Johnathan Mattingly, Brett Hankinson and Myles Cosgrove, allegedly neither knocked, nor identified themselves. Walker, fearing them to be intruders fired at them and the policemen retaliated with more gunfire. The policemen fired at least 20 rounds, eight of which hit Taylor who died at the scene. Shockingly, Walker was arrested soon after on charges of first-degree assault and attempt to murder police officers!
The police’s version, meanwhile, is a study in contradictions. While at one point they claimed they were executing a “no-knock” search warrant, in yet another version they claim they knocked several times and identified themselves. The latter version is disputed by Taylor and Walker’s neighbors. The search warrant meanwhile was in connection with two men who were allegedly selling drugs, one of whom, Jamarcus Glover, had previously been in a relationship with Taylor. Police alleged that he had used her home address to receive packages, a claim disputed by the Postal Inspector’s office. Interestingly, both suspects were in custody at the time of the raid.
What’s worse, last September a grand jury refused to charge any of the policemen involved with Taylor’s death. Hankinson was charged with “wanton endangerment”, a much milder charge. sparking protests that lasted days. In January, detectives Myles Cosgrove and Joshua Jaynes were dismissed from the force. While, it was Cosgrove who fired the shot that killed Taylor, it was Jaynes who secured the warrant for the search.
But in some relief, the attempt to murder charge against Walker was dropped. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Taylor’s family posted this video to Twitter:
Meanwhile, online tributes poured in for Taylor.