Socialist Worker

Anger on the streets after killers of Breonna Taylor not charged for her death

by Isabel Ringrose
Issue No. 2724

Its been over 6 months since Taylor was murdered by the police

Its been over 6 months since Taylor was murdered by the police (Pic: Daniel Lobo/flickr)


Protests have erupted across the US after the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor in March were not charged for her death.

The grand jury in Louisville, Kentucky, announced on Wednesday that it had only charged one of the three officers with three counts of ‘wanton endangerment’.

This charge was not directly related to the fatal shooting. It was on the grounds that officer Brett Hankinson who was fired in Juneshot and damaged neighbouring apartments.

The other two officers were not charged with any crime, despite one of the two firing the shot that killed Taylor.

Kentucky’s attorney general Daniel Cameron argued it was reasonable to not charge the other two officers involved in the shooting. He said they were justified in their use of force because Taylor’s boyfriend fired a single shot at them.

Letters—We have to say her name as well—it was Breonna Taylor 
Letters—We have to say her name as well—it was Breonna Taylor 
  Read More

During a raid on Taylor's house in March where she lived with her boyfriend, officers fired a total of 32 shotssix of which hit her.

Black Lives Matter protests have demanded justice for her murder since May when the movement exploded after the police killing of George Floyd.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump who is representing Taylor’s family described the announcement as “outrageous and offensive.”

He said her death is “Legalised genocide of people of colour, because no matter how much evidence we have, they always find a way to try to legally justify it.”

The result of the state investigation also announced on Wednesday that the search warrant carried out on her home was not a “no-knock warrant.”

But according to the 911 call made by Taylor’s boyfriend after she was shot, he did not know the shooters were police officers.

Curfew

Trump told the press “My message is that I love the black community, and I‘ve done more for the black community than any other president, and I say with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln.”

And after the decision was announced hundreds of protests broke out in cities and towns across the US, including New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Chicago and Portland.

Protesters shouted, “no justice, no peace” and “say her name, Breonna Taylor” with placards reading “Justice for Breonna Taylor”.

Louisville was put under a 9:00 pm curfew but protesters carried on defiantly. By the end of the night a state of emergency had been declared, the National Guard had been deployed and police arrested up to 100 protesters.

Two police officers were shot and the state has been quick to make arrests, unlike when Taylor was shot dead.

Police in Atlanta used tear gas to break up protesters and in Denver a car drove into a group of protesters.

And in Portland police declared a riot. Footage also shows a police officer in Seattle running over the head of an injured protester with a bicycle.

The police response to these protests clearly demonstrates whose side the state is on.

And the decision to not charge any of the officers shows how systemic racism is embedded within US society.

The Black Lives Matter movement is proving to be a powerful and resilient force. Mass movements like it have the ability to bring about the radical changes in society people are now demanding.


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