Breonna Taylor Article by The State News is Out of Context and Includes Faulty Information
Contributor: David Barton
“Six months and 10 days. The calls for justice and protests through the nation for Breonna Taylor have gone six months and 10 days, after Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers fatally shot her, in her apartment, on a botched, no-knock drug search warrant.” (The State News: “Lansing, EL community members react to grand jury's decision in Breonna Taylor case”)
Published September 24, this statement is missing key context: the police knocked on the door and announced themselves multiple times, over several minutes, according to CNN. They were loud enough for a neighbor to come out and ask what was going on. The door was then broken down.
That’s right, the police were so loud about trying to rouse Taylor, that a neighbor woke up.
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The LMPD decided beforehand, Taylor’s address was a “soft target,” meaning there was little risk to the officers involved. The leaders of the two raids decided, in light of that, to make sure their presence was known in order to reduce the risk of injury or death for all involved. Their operation already resulted in the arrest of her ex-boyfriend earlier that day.
Some other statements are factual, but out of context. The State News shares Taylor’s boyfriend shot one of the officers in the leg, but fail to mention the shot severed his femoral artery. This is a kill shot and he easily could have bled out.
Additionally, Taylor’s boyfriend claims they never heard the police say who they were after shouting “who’s there,” which the police officers claim to have not heard, but say they had announced themselves earlier.
The State News referenced The Cut, saying “No drugs were actually ever found and the warrant in question targeted another individual who had lived miles away and already been detained at the time.”
This statement misses that the individual, her ex-boyfriend and alleged drug dealing partner, was already arrested, and alleging therefore, that Taylor should not have been targeted by the search warrant.
Taylor was unfortunately involved in her ex-boyfriends’ drug operations. Police had seen him go there previously and come back out with a package he then delivered to a “known drug house.” Her name, car, and address were all on the warrant.
In short, this is a tragic incident, that is not the direct fault of Taylor or the police. It is a terrible example how lack of clear communication and unfortunate events can kill.
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The last part of the article is outrightly one-sided. Paul Birdsong, leader of We the Free People of Lansing shares with The State News: “I don't understand the charges...Police officers, more than one, went into a house and murdered somebody in their sleep. They should've been charged with first degree murder, minimum first degree manslaughter.”
Breonna Taylor was not asleep when she was killed. She was killed in the hallway of her apartment. It is dangerous to push that false narrative, as seen in violent riots and the shooting of two LMPD officers.
Also, activists are not the best at determining what charges should have been leveled on the officers given their likelihood of bias.