Someone's Lying and People are Dying
In the ever unfolding drama that is the Breonna Taylor story, there are two completely different narratives and two completely different sets of facts and events. Someone is lying, and unfortunately both the rioters and the policemen are paying for it with their lives.
Story A: Breonna Taylor was asleep in her bed. Police officers, serving a no knock warrant, on the wrong house, going after a suspect who had just been arrested across town, shot recklessly into her apartment upon seeing her boyfriend holding a gun. The bullets went through the wall and struck a sleeping Taylor who then died in her sleep.
Verdict: Murder 2 with reckless endangerment and negligence in addition.
Police were serving a warrant on Taylor based upon her renting a car for her ex who was the ultimate target in a drug dealing investigation. The warrant was not a "no-knock" warrant, and the police knocked and announced themselves which was heard by multiple witnesses. At the time of entry, the officer encountered two individuals standing at the end of a hallway (Taylor and her boyfriend), and one of the suspects (the boyfriend) fired first and hit the officer in the thigh.
The officers then returned fire, as trained, with overwhelming force in response to being fired upon. During this time, Taylor was shot in an exchange of gunfire and the bullets that went through a wall entered another apartment entirely and killed no one.
Verdict: Reckless endangerment and possible manslaughter depending on if Taylor was attempting to get her boyfriend to not discharge the weapon.
Why the different stories? Why are they SO different? These stories are, in fact, so different that they are virtually contradictory. I haven't read the Breonna Taylor report, I haven't read the ballistics evidence, and I haven't read the witness testimony. No one outside of the grand jury has. Those jurors saw the evidence, and came to the conclusion that they did. I hope that we'll get to see that report at some point, but right now, we can't.
So why then, if a grand jury did in fact get convened, and do an investigation, do we continue to have riots, and why then are two police officers in the hospital after being shot? The answer? People already had their minds made up, they'd already tried the case in the court of public opinion, and they already "knew the facts."
Mob justice has been demanded, and the mob knows the truth. Except, it turns out, they may or may not.
That's not to say that the investigators are perfect, or even right. You, like me, will have to read the report yourself to make that determination. Yet, someone is making up a story and that story is the root cause of so many riots and death. Either those associated with Taylor made up a story and are responsible, or the police made up a story and are responsible. Only the facts and evidence will tell us the truth, and right now we don't have those.
In the end, there is one inescapeable fact. Kenneth Walker, by his own admission, fired first and hit an officer. This is what set off the string of events that led to Taylor's death. At the center of this is the question of announcement and "knocking." What do those witness statements say about the series of events.
If the officers knocked and announced themselves, Walker is the responsible party, if it was, indeed, a "no knock" warrant, than it's hard to escape the fact that I would have been shooting too, believing that my home was being broken in to.
This is why it is so critical to have body cameras and recording devices. Had they been used, we wouldn't be debating which of the above stories is in fact true, we would have known almost instantly without having to wait MONTHS for ballistics reports and witness statement verification. Perhaps the question that needs to be asked most of all is, "why weren't there, or wouldn't there be, body cameras in use?"
That, alone, should cost some people their careers. It's time to release the report. Let the facts come to light. Let us see which of the above stories is indeed true. Because it matters. People's lives are depending on it.