We’ve been busy organizing and strategizing for a regime change in the White House. We’ve been ducking and dodging COVID-19 in the face of no national, coordinated plan. It must’ve seen like a good opportunity for the three cops involved in the murder of Breonna Taylor and the traumatization of her boyfriend Kenneth Walker to pull some tricks from their badges. Their racist actions were more salt in the wounds of injustice surrounding the case. It proof positive that the Louisville police department refuses to be accountable for a botched no-knock raid and the resulting murder of Taylor.
Back in early spring, three white cops, Jonathan Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison kicked in the door of Breonna and Kenneth under the guise of serving a no-knock drug warrant. Walker alleged there was no warning by police and so he concluded they were intruders and opened fire on them. When the spray of bullets stopped, Breonna Taylor, lay dead in the hallway. The young medical tech took six bullets. Mattingly took one to the leg. No drugs were ever found inside the apartment.
The reaction by the Louisville community was quick and explosive. Demands for justice reverberated across the country. The coverup by police was immediate.
Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend and lone survivor of the raid, has become the police department’s target for retaliation. Walker was charged with attempted murder and assault, an action believed to divert the attention away from the actions of police. It undoubtedly put Walker on the defense but his account of the middle of the night raid has never wavered. His actions were in self-defense and in defense of his girlfriend’s life. The charges were ultimately dropped but now he faces a civil suit by Mattingly for emotional stress, battery and assault.
Neither the cops involved in Taylor’s murder or the Louisville Police Department have owned up to any wrongdoing. There is no redemption of this callous, corrupt bureaucracy
The community demands criminal charges and gets confronted with racist arrogance. Mattingly recently filed a frivolous lawsuit against Walker. Seeing the end to his police career, Cosgrove set up an online fundraiser to buy out the reminder of his service so he can fade into the sunset and enjoy life with his family.
Hankison who has a lengthy record of being a rogue cop was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing bullets into an adjacent apartment with three people inside. I’m sure the residents inside got a scare but no one was injured. If Hankison and his buddies hadn’t been in the Taylor-Walker residence in the first place, we wouldn’t be talking about this situation. Hankison was subsequently fired his violation of department policy during the raid.
The Taylor family has been awarded a record $12 million dollars for the wrongful death of their loved one. The Louisville community has been promised several reforms. The demand are criminal charges of the officers involved in the death of Breonna are persistent.
The fight for justice must go beyond individual settlements and a few firings. The systems that protect the lawlessness of officers must be confronted with intention and fervor. We know the names of Mike Brown, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor but there are many more. Our organizing efforts will never get true justice for all of them. We must fight for systemic change because the police shootings and killings continue.
Rogue police departments and their prosecuting partners in crime have a long and corrupt relationship that keeps them immune from any degree of accountability. The Black Lives Movement is shaking up the system.
Now it’s time to go in hard such as defunding police budgets to reallocate funding for human needs (especially during the pandemic), challenging police associations’ bargaining agreements that preserve the unmitigated power of police and taking on other issues that serve and protect the interests of cops.