By Sarah Brill, Science and Technology Editor
After midnight on March 13, police officers, under the execution of a search warrant, forcibly entered the apartment of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT living in Louisville Kentucky. The police entered the apartment in search for two men whom they believed were selling drugs. The drugs and dealing under investigation at the time took place 10 miles away from Breonna’s house, but her house was searched due to suspicion of involvement. The man the police were looking for was a former boyfriend of Taylor’s, but they were no longer romantically involved at the time of the search.
On the evening of the attack, Breonna and her boyfriend, Kennith Walker, had been in bed when they heard a loud banging. Walker told the police that he initially believed it was Breonna’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, trying to forcibly enter, and when the police did enter, Walker, a licensed gun user, fired the gun in defense, hitting Sergeant Mattingly in the leg. The police responded by firing five rounds of bullets, striking Breonna in the chest. Detective Brett Hankison fired blindly into the apartment ten times. In total, 32 bullets were fired between Walker and the cops — one from Walker, 31 from the police.
What is truly spectacular and audacious about this whole ordeal is that Breonna was alive for five minutes after being shot, but was not given medical attention. Instead, the officer who was shot in the leg was given medical attention. Contrary to police protocol — that when a raid is in progress, an ambulance must be on stand-by for this very reason — the police officers raiding the apartment told the ambulance to leave before entering, and called it back moments later when the events transpired. What is even more ironic about the whole ordeal is that Walker was forced to call 911 to order an ambulance for Taylor, who was breathing at the time, five minutes after being shot.
Former detective Brett Hankison was charged with wanton endangerment for the bullets that nearly penetrated the next door neighbor’s apartment, but he was not charged for shooting and killing Breonna Taylor. A concrete drywall got more justice than an actual human. The facts have been laid out, but justice has not been served. The defense argument that one side provides is that any person in a high risk situation would have reacted the way the officers did, by firing multiple shots out of panic. But firing 31 shots? Cops should be trained to not shoot when they’re in a high risk situation. Furthermore, they might say that they were entering the apartment and in doing so, it was justified. But when they were given Breonna Taylor’s address, did they bother to look at their records to see if Jamarcus Glover even lived there? Did they do any additional research at all? Or did they just assume? Why did they not announce themselves upon entering? The reality of the situation is that these police officers are just as at fault as any other human being who kills another human being. There are certain protocols that must be followed in order to enter someone’s property. Based on the police report, these officers disregarded one regulation by sending away the ambulance however, why are there not more regulations in place for a search warrant?
You can run around in circles all day stating different facts about this case, and what mental state the police might have been in, but the reality is that at the end of the day police officers shot and killed an innocent woman, and justice should be served properly.