We have not seen anything close to the truth with the vast majority of the Breonna Taylor agenda-driven images, soundbites and analyses that wash over us multiple times a day. Truth is the most marginalized voice of all.
The vast majority of us want true justice, and a permanent, united peace. In order to know that peace, we need to have the facts–all the facts and nothing but the facts–facts will lead us to the truth. Only the truth can lead us to true justice.
That is the subject of today’s 10-minute episode.
How many of us have been told that Breonna Taylor was murdered in her bed while sleeping? And then told that a systemically racist police force could do that to any random Black person at any time?
That is a lie, intentionally designed to increase the fear and anger among Blacks, and anybody who believes that lie, toward the police specifically and White society in general. And people understandably believe that lie because they want to trust their news sources. Destruction, more deaths and a further divided and angry country are the inevitable and desired result. Let’s look at what really happened.
The No-Knock Warrant. When the police applied for a warrant to search Taylor’s apartment, they also asked for four other warrants to be served near simultaneously: one for a suspected “trap house” allegedly operated by Jamarcus Glover and Adrian Walker (no relation to Kenneth Walker) at 2424 Elliott Avenue, two for vacant homes near that address, and one for a suspected stash house on West Muhammad Ali Boulevard. Judge Mary Shaw approved all five warrants. There was sufficient evidence connecting Taylor to her previous boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, to issue the warrant for Taylor’s address. Drugs were found when the separate warrant was served on Glover, and he was arrested that same night.
The police decided before the raid to serve the No-Knock Warrant at Taylor’s address as a Knock Warrant. Evidence presented to the Grand Jury showed the police knocked and announced who they were more than once before entering.
Video shows that Officer Brett Hankison was agitated before they used a battering ram on the door to enter. A fellow Officer was trying to calm Hankison down even before they entered.
Getting no response to their knocking and announcing, the three officers, Hankison along with Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, entered Taylor’s apartment following the use of the battering ram. Breonna and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had left their bedroom, and entered the hallway. Walker said that he had not heard any knocking or announcing, and fired his legal gun at what he thought was an intruder, striking Detective Mattingly in the leg. Mattingly and Cosgrove returned fire, killing Taylor who was standing near Walker. Analysis showed that Cosgrove had fired the shot that killed Ms. Taylor.
The agitated Officer Hankison fired 10 shots which entered nearby apartments. Hankison was correctly charged by the Grand Jury with three counts of wanton endangerment, each carrying a sentence of up to 5 years. Officer Hankison was fired last June, and Mattingly and Cosgrove have been on administrative duties. Mattingly and Cosgrove were, also correctly, not charged for returning fire.
Kentucky Attorney General, David Cameron (photo), went to some length to tell everyone the Grand Jury had done its job well, and pleaded for people, especially celebrities, not to stir up negative reactions with misleading information. But much of the media are filled with people reacting to just that–deliberately false information. That is not only wrong, but downright dangerous. Think of how many people actually believe that the cops simply barged into Ms. Taylor’s apartment, opened fire, and killed her in her bed. Lies like this one tear at the fabric of an already torn society, add fuel to the race fires, and influence elections.
“Skinfolk, not kinfolk.” Here’s an example of what AG Cameron received in return for his well reasoned analysis and his plea for calm. Cheryl Dorsey, a Black retired sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department, while an MSNBC guest, called Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who is black, “skinfolk” and “not kinfolk” following the results of a grand jury decision not to indict three law enforcement officers directly for the death of Breonna Taylor. Dorsey was responding on air to the statements Cameron made during an afternoon press conference in which he denounced celebrity influencers fomenting potential riots in Louisville and elsewhere over the outcome without having a comprehensive understanding of the case.
The Grand Jury got it right. Are there things that we need to do differently going forward? Yes:
- Have a screening process that either does not allow police departments to hire the likes of Brett Hankison, or at least make sure they have an office job, and never, ever carry a gun. Like maybe a meter maid.
- End No-Knock Warrants, especially in drug cases.
- That’s what law enforcement can do. The rest of us need to be absolutely sure of our facts before we take any action, including simply expressing an opinion.
- Okay, Will, how do we know what we are seeing and hearing is the truth? A. Go to multiple and disparate sources of information before you make up your mind on anything more important than the weather. Diversity is indeed a strength when it comes to uncovering the truth. Here are the news and opinion sources I consult on a daily basis:
- Wall Street Journal
- Rush Limbaugh
- Ben Shapiro
- National Review
- Colorado Springs Gazette
- Many columnists of all political stripes
The city of Louisville, KY settled a Taylor-family civil suit by awarding her family $12M. While that’s a ton of money, perhaps especially in Kentucky, it will not bring Ms. Taylor back, nor will it change anything going forward. Only you and I can do that. And it starts with everyone who opens their mouth knowing and speaking the truth.
We must know the truth to know justice, and to know peace.
Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know.
As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty.
As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple, Google, or Stitcher.
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
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