Right now, hundreds of thousands of people across the country are anxiously awaiting an announcement regarding the police officers who murdered Breonna Taylor.
Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove. Those are the names of the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers who broke into the home of Breonna and her boyfriend Kenny Walker and wildly fired their guns. She was shot at least five times.
There is little to no dispute about the fact that the murder of Breonna, a 26-year-old EMT working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, was a tragic injustice and a gross abuse of police power. The city of Louisville admits this. That’s why they passed “Breonna’s Law,” effectively banning “no-knock warrants.” It’s also why the city settled a wrongful death suit, awarding the family $12 million.
Progress has been made on many fronts, except for the one people have been calling for.
The three officers who murdered Breonna must be held accountable.
Notice, I do not say “brought to justice.” There is no justice in a case like this. There is no justice in the brutal killing of a young woman whose family will never get to see her again, hold her again. Justice would be if they could have their daughter, sister, niece, cousin and friend back.
Justice would be if she was never killed at all.
In a few minutes, the Kentucky Attorney General will announce the decision of a grand jury.
This is a defining moment in our nation’s history.
I am reminded so much of the 2014 killing of Mike Brown. My entire family sat in front of the television, waiting to see what would come of the case and whether the officer would be held accountable. I remember the devastation of the announcement that he would not and the outrage that followed.
I can only hope that now, six years later, the outcome will be different.
On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun recaps this landmark case, and unpacks what comes next.