Social Question

Demosthenes's avatar

Was the indictment in the Breonna Taylor shooting fair?

Asked by Demosthenes (10371points) 1 month ago

https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/23/us/breonna-taylor-attorney-general-grand-jury-announcement/index.html

One of the officers involved in her shooting was indicted with three counts of “wanton endangerment”. The other officers involved were not indicted.

Was this outcome fair? If not, what should they have been charged with?

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74 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

No.

They should have been charged with manslaughter. An innocent person is dead based on poor police work.

hmmmmmm's avatar

No.

I’m not a lawyer, but the charge should have been whatever you charge people with when they break into someone’s apartment and murder them. Charge all 3 pigs, the judge who signed the warrant, and everyone involved in criminalizing people via the “drug war”.

jca2's avatar

I think they indicted the one officer to throw a bone at the community, to quell people’s anger. That officer will either be found not guilty or get a minimal sentence.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

A woman who was not accused of any crime was executed by police who lied to get a no-knock warrant. They broke down the door with a battering ram and submitted a report stating there was no “forced entry”.

The “wanton endangerment” is for shooting into the neighbor’s apartment. And that is for one cop when three (I think) were shooting.

There is no accountability here for the killing. It’s being treated as she if died in an accident.

gorillapaws's avatar

I am not a lawyer. That said, it is my understanding that if you commit a felony that leads to someone’s death, you can be charged with murder (e.g. the getaway driver can be charged with murder even if he never entered the bank where his partners kill someone). I don’t fully understand the legal requirements for such a charge, but whoever secured the no-knock warrant via knowingly providing false information to the judge, should be held accountable for the consequences.

kritiper's avatar

The boyfriend should be charged with reckless discharge of a firearm (or whatever the nomenclature in particular is) and attempted manslaughter. After all, he started the whole mess by his improper use of a firearm.
The policeman/men whose bullets were found in Breonna Taylor’s body should be charged with the same crime as the boyfriend plus manslaughter. The boy friend intended to hit somebody, as did the policeman/men but the policemen did not intend to shoot Breonna Taylor. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, a victim of circumstance, an accident.

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Call_Me_Jay's avatar

The boyfriend fired at intruders who were breaking down the door. He says they didn’t announce themselves. The neighbors agree.

The police claim they announced themselves. But they had a no-knock warrant and battering ram if that was the plan. Also, we know they lied afterward, claiming there was no forced entry.

The police are less believable.

ragingloli's avatar

“Fair”?
It was an insult.
They went to the wrong apartment in plain clothes, did not announce or identify themselves before and after violently breaking down the door, murdered an innocent woman, then lied on their reports afterwards.
And then, after months of protests against police racism, abuse of power, and corruption, not a single one of these murderers is brought to justice. No, to the contrary, the murderers’ actions are called “justified” by the corrupt justice system, and the only slap on the wrist for a single one of these murderous pigs, was for a bullet ending up in a neighbours apartment.
You can toss a coin to decide, if this was a token crumb thrown before the peasantry, so they can pretend to have dispensed “justice”, or an intentional callous act of mockery against the victims.
What a shithole country.

seawulf575's avatar

I’m going to say it was. Since no one on this thread was actually part of the Grand Jury and heard all the evidence, I’m going with benefit of the doubt. I know what I have heard and that is that the police had a “no-knock” warrant, but didn’t serve it as a “no-knock”. They knocked and announced they were the police before entering the apartment. The boyfriend started shooting at them immediately and shot one of the police. The other police returned fire and that was when Ms Taylor was killed.
I know…a black person was killed by a cop…I get it. But step back three steps and look at the situation. Specifically, take race out of the picture, since according to the evidence available, racism was not an issue in this case. Police have a warrant to enter a dwelling. They have the ability to just burst in with no warning and they opted to not do that. They start getting shot at and one of their party is shot. Their training, and human nature, is to respond to avoid the danger. It is a tragedy that the woman that was not shooting was shot and killed. They were actually following all their policies and training. The failures of the policies and training were addressed and are being or have been corrected. So was the indictment fair? Sure, I think it was.

kritiper's avatar

Yes a black person was killed. But it could have been any person of any color, so that fact should have no bearing on the issue at all.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Specifically, take race out of the picture

You were the first to bring it up.

seawulf575's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay Yes, I was probably the first to actually discuss it. But in today’s world, that seems to be all that matters. I have had the discussion dozens of times about how more whites are killed by cops than almost all other groups combined and no one goes crazy protesting and rioting when it happens. The protesters outside the courthouse were not there because it was just a person…they are there because it was a black person. So while you might want to act like no one else cared about race, I’ll throw the brown flag on that one.

ragingloli's avatar

Something similar happened years ago in Germany.
Cops performed a no-knock raid against a “Hell’s Angels” member, and, just like in this case, failed to identify themselves.
So the guy shot blindly and ended up killing a cop.
After initially being sentenced to 8 years for manslaughter, a high court overturned that sentence, because the gang member acted in self defence.

Darth_Algar's avatar

The police announced themselves? Bull-fucking-shit. The entire point of a “no-knock” warrant is that you don’t announce yourself. The boyfriend had every right to defend their home with a bunch of armed intruders broke into their house in the middle of the night.

kritiper's avatar

@Darth_Algar That is true. But he broke the cardinal rule of proper gunplay: NEVER pull a gun unless you absolutely have to. He had no idea at all who he might be shooting at. You can’t just start blasting away at imagined spooks.

ragingloli's avatar

“You can’t just start blasting away at imagined spooks.”
What a shining example of “Realitätsverweigerung”.

A group of armed intruders that have just violently broken down the door and have failed to identify themselves. There was nothing “imagined” about them.
It was absolutely reasonable for him to assume that he was dealing with band of robbers.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

“Imagined spooks” don’t crash through your door with a battering ram. And the cops were not uniformed.

chyna's avatar

The police did not announce themselves according to the boyfriend and neighbors. If someone rams the door down at my house, I’m thinking they aren’t there for tea and crumpets. And instead of asking if they are, I’m pulling out my gun and shooting.
Also, the police lied on their report. If everything was actually done on the up and up, there was no reason to lie.

gorillapaws's avatar

@chyna “The police did not announce themselves according to the boyfriend and neighbors. ”

This is simple to clear up, all we have to do is check the body cam footage from the officers…
oh, right.

There’s absolutely no excuse to not document a raid on a private residence like in this case with multiple bodycams. I DON’T give the police the benefit of the doubt when there’s no bodycam footage.

kritiper's avatar

@ragingloli The first shot was fired by the boyfriend before the door was opened or breeched.

ragingloli's avatar

The boyfriend shot after the door was breached.

chyna's avatar

Not true @kritiper. “Mattingly (police) says he got all the way into the house and saw Walker (boyfriend) pointing the gun. He heard Walker’s shot and returned fire immediately “.
Source: ABC News per Mattingly recording of events.

zenvelo's avatar

@kritiper ”...You can’t just start blasting away at imagined spooks.”

Actually, that is exactly the protection in Castle laws, especially Kentucky’s.

kritiper's avatar

@chyna The evidence does not support that. If true, the boyfriend would have fired multiple times instead of just once. (Multiple targets). And there were bullet holes in the door which would not have occurred if the police were inside the apartment.
@zenvelo If the rules of proper gunplay are followed, what I said about blasting away is true. It doesn’t matter how or what you read into some law.

zenvelo's avatar

@kritiper What the fuck are you talking about- “the rules of gunplay”? The only rule of gunplay is don’t point a weapon at a person unless you intend to kill.

The cops didn’t follow any fucking “rule” otherwise they would not have crashed into the apartment.

chyna's avatar

@kritiper Where did any report say he fired more than once and where does it say he or even the police fired into the door?

chyna's avatar

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said “the other two officers were justified in firing their weapons because Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had fired one shot at them.”
Source: AP
One.

seawulf575's avatar

Actually, the report I heard said that the cops knocked AND identified themselves. This was corroborated by an outside person…one of the neighbors. The boyfriend says he didn’t hear them identify themselves, but then, if you just shot at a bunch of cops and they in turn ended up killing your sugar mama, would you admit you heard them? No, you’d say you thought it was someone breaking in and were defending yourself.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Some one shared a chart showing the number of people killed by police in America compared to the rest of the world. It was startling.our law enforcement system is fubarred.

chyna's avatar

@seawulf575 Sugar mama? Why are you disparaging someone that was home in bed, watching TV, minding his own business? But for the actions of some rogue policemen, he would still be living his life normally.

seawulf575's avatar

@chyna Time for you to grow up and get over yourself. Rogue policemen? Sorry honey, when police are issued a warrant they are not “rogue”. They were actually given a no-knock warrant which meant they could have just burst in without any warning. But they knocked and announced themselves instead. I guess by that aspect you could call them rogue…they knocked instead of bursting in. When they enter a house or apartment to serve a valid warrant, and are shot at, they are allowed to shoot back. Shooting was not “rogue”. The only part about the whole thing that was “rogue” was how the one cop just fired blindly around a corner. That is why he is facing charges for reckless endangerment. Not knowing what you are shooting at or what is beyond what you think you are shooting at is irresponsible. But in the heat of the moment, I can at least understand it even though it is irresponsible.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

and they in turn ended up killing your sugar mama

Don’t ever whine again about being called a racist. TIA!

Darth_Algar's avatar

“The police announced themselves.”

That’s the biggest line of bullshit I’ve heard since the police told me a line of shit I knew, first hand, wasn’t true in an attempt to get me to rat on a friend who I knew did not do what they wanted me to say he did.

The whole point of a “no knock” warrant is that you don’t announce yourself.

Face it – cops lie.

Blackberry's avatar

@seawulf575
They didn’t even actually find the drugs they were looking for….isn’t intelligence supposed to be actually correct? It would have at least made a bit more sense if they busted in and found a huge drug stash….But they didn’t….so don’t they at least need better investigative tactics to prevent this from happening again?

Nothing happens in a vacuum. Just like 20 women don’t just randomly accuse a president of harrassment and assault, millions of people don’t just randomly decide to start a movement against police, the government, or bad treatment of workers.

Fred Hampton was a Black Panther that actually got two gangs to create a cease-fire and started giving food to poor people. His charisma got not just black people to empower themselves, but poor white people as well.
The FBI investigated him and actually found out that was all he was doing, so they made stuff up….that’s it. They scared Fred’s friend and fellow panther into spying on the panthers for them and ended up making his friend drug Fred so the police could conduct a raid and basically assassinate Fred Hampton.
“The seven Panthers who survived the raid were indicted by a grand jury on charges of attempted murder, armed violence, and various other weapons charges. These charges were subsequently dropped. During the trial, the Chicago Police Department claimed that the Panthers were the first to fire shots. But a later investigation found that the Chicago police fired between ninety and ninety-nine shots, while the only Panthers shot was a bullet that hit the ceiling from Mark Clark’s fallen shotgun.[30][37]

I’m not gonna post a bunch of facts because it’s really not gonna matter to a person like you anyways. But the police ran into the building and immediately started shooting….that one shot from the panthers was “Clark’s gun discharged once into the ceiling.[30] This single round was fired when he suffered a reflexive death-convulsion after being shot. This was the only shot fired by the Panthers.[12][31][32]”

It’s time for you to grow up and realize that where there is smoke there is fire. These cops weren’t even donned with bodycams….why is that? Wouldn’t it easily prove the officers were right?
“The chaotic police operation that night was exacerbated by Hankison, who was accused by his own department of “blindly” firing 10 bullets into Taylor’s apartment from an outdoor patio. Hankison is appealing his termination. His attorney, David Leightty, has declined to comment.
The officers were not wearing body cameras, police said.”

If this guy can’t handle a weapon he needs to be on a desk, but it’s too late now.

seawulf575's avatar

@chyna The three officers involved did not take part in the obtaining of the warrant, he said. They knocked on Taylor’s apartment door and announced their presence outside, which Cameron said was corroborated by a neighbor who witnessed the arrival. Getting no answer, they “breached the door.”

“The warrant was not served as a no-knock warrant,” Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said

This came from an article after the KY AG announced the decision. Obviously there was someone that actually witnessed the event. I really can’t picture why, after all the people that heard the evidence in the Grand Jury and the process, including all the evidence is recorded, and the city is already on edge, the AG would suddenly make up a mysterious witness. It makes no sense. Yeah, MSN asked 12 people who witnessed the events….but did they actually witness the entry? Or were they looky-loos who showed up afterward? It sounds like the cops didn’t fill the parking lot with cars, lights flashing. So who would really be watching? Once the door was knocked in, yeah that makes a lot of noise and some people probably came out then to see. But that is a little too late to be called “witnesses” for the events before the door was knocked in.

seawulf575's avatar

@Blackberry Yep, something went wrong with the intelligence of this warrant. But see? You are trying to side step some facts. They had a warrant, for one. That means they had something that looked bad enough for a court to say, “yep, you can invade someone’s privacy”. Remember the smoke/fire thing you are so fond of quoting? Does it mean they got it right? Hell no! But it does mean they thought they did. I had heard (but am too tired at this point to find it again) that the guy they were actually trying to find actually existed and was arrested and drugs were seized. So there really was a bad guy in this story. Your analogy of the cops “targeting” someone is just conspiracy bullshit. What possible purpose could they have had for targeting Breonna Taylor? Get real…stop letting the mob do your thinking for you.

Blackberry's avatar

@seawulf575
So if drugs were seized why was another warrant issued? And why are no knock warrants still justified….they’re clearly not working very well and I suspect being abused.

I was showing you examples to explain the decades long pattern of incredibly irresponsible police behavior.
This is about irresponsible police and investigative work, and in larger part the war on drugs.
There were about 1500 no knock warrants served in the 80s which increased to about 40,000 by 2005. The majority of civilians killed are obviously black and hispanic.
People’s pets are killed, even dogs too small to be deemed a credible threat.

These warrants are contradictory because of the right of a person to protect their life and property. They’re actually banned in 2 states because logic probably prevailed.

The swat team conducted a no knock in the past and accidentally threw a flashbang next to an infants playpen severely injuring the child and surprisingly not killing it.

Americans love to brag about protecting their home with guns and love to talk about how they’d blast anyone that comes through the door. It’s a recipe for disaster that ends in a shootout killing cops and civilians, with stray bullets entering other homes.

chyna's avatar

By the way @seawulf, the name on the warrant was her ex-boyfriend who was already in jail. Great police investigation skills. ~

Dutchess_III's avatar

OMG @seawulf575 provided his source! Will wonders never cease!

I think everyone is in agreement that the police really screwed this one up.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

They had a warrant, for one. That means they had something that looked bad enough for a court to say

The police lied to the judge. The warrant was based on suspicious packages being delivered to Taylor’s address.

That was after the Post Office told the police there was no suspicious activity.

As for claiming the grand jury must have made a fair call – they only see what the prosecutor brings them. And we don’t know what that was. There are calls to make the evidence public. If they won’t be transparent, we can assume the prosecutor joined the coverup.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

the name on the warrant was her ex-boyfriend who was already in jail.

He was arrested shortly before (within the hour). Police altered the incident reports to pretend he was not arrested beforehand.

Details in here: Louisville Courier-Journal – Debunking 8 widely shared rumors in the Breonna Taylor police shooting

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay _“As for claiming the grand jury must have made a fair call – they only see what the prosecutor brings them. And we don’t know what that was.”

Yep. And also the grand jury doesn’t have to reach a unanimous decision, only a simple majority. Plus, since the grand jury doesn’t decide guilt or innocence the jurors feel a lot more comfortable mentally tuning out during the process and rushing to a decision so they can get out to lunch already.

Having served on several grand juries I have little faith in the system.

kritiper's avatar

@chyna Initial report seen on TV said the boyfriend only fired once. The door that was shown on TV had multiple bullet holes all from bullets that were fired directly through the door, not at any angles.
If the door had been open the boyfriend would have either emptied his gun into the police or he would have dropped his gun in surrender when he saw what he was up against..
Had the police fired with the door open the boyfriend would had been riddled with bullets.

kritiper's avatar

@zenvelo The rules of gunplay are actually points of logic and common sense. Here is my list, as I see it:

THE RULES OF PROPER GUNPLAY.
#1. NEVER pull a gun on someone if you don’t intend to use deadly intent to shoot and kill. Understand the possible consequences!
#2. Always shoot to kill. Dead men don’t talk or testify against you.
#3. BE DELIBERATE! Be sure of your target! (See rule #1.)
#4 Keep alcohol out of the mix when the game becomes deadly.
#5 Mind the muzzle! ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
#6 A gun is not a toy! Treat it as if it is always loaded.
#7. Shooting someone in the back is NOT self defense!

MrGrimm888's avatar

I was always taught to be aware of your target, and what is beyond it.
Firing into a closed door, is typically stupid.

seawulf575's avatar

^Ayuh. That is why that cop is getting charged with reckless endangerment.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Most officers are just following training.
That’s the problem….
The training, needs to be rethought.
The protocols, also should be redesigned….
IMO….

crazyguy's avatar

@kritiper I agree with most of your rules. The one I have some heartburn with is the one about shooting somebody in the back. I am sure you =have watched video of the Atlanta shooting where the suspect was running away, but still firing the stolen taser over his shoulder. I would definitely call that self-defense. How about you?

kritiper's avatar

@crazyguy As usual, I suppose, there are exceptions to every rule. But if the guy is running away, how much of a immediate threat is he? Does the person who has to make a decision to shoot want to risk going to jail or face having to pay hospital/therapy costs or face the death penalty for a shooting that wasn’t required? I think someone who had to make that choice would also be facing the choice of breaking rule #3.

crazyguy's avatar

@kritiper I guess it would be possible for the police to try and apprehend the suspect later. However, keep in mind this was a big guy, and had a policeman’s taser. I believe the police are trained to never let a fugitive escape. In this particular case, I think if he got away we would have to have a huge manhunt to recapture him.

Darth_Algar's avatar

A person running away is not a threat. And shooting someone in the back is an act of cowardice.

hmmmmmm's avatar

^ You say that, but have you considered that if he was not murdered by police, Rayshard Brooks might gone on to fall asleep in Wendy’s parking lots all across the country!?

ragingloli's avatar

A taser is a single shot device.
He fired it off already and missed. He was not a threat afterwards.

crazyguy's avatar

@ragingloli I had no idea. But I just looked it up. The number of shots depends on the model. An X3 can fire three shots.

ragingloli's avatar

That is true.
According to this article, the model used was a 2 shot device.
Brooks fired it twice, once when he took it from one of the cops, the second time while he was running away.

zenvelo's avatar

The news today demonstrates how the LMPD has tried to manipulate the facts in this case. The one officer who was charged tried to interfere with the investigation of the shooting, and violated department policy.

The SOLE witness that said the police announced themselves has recounted her testimony.

And, ballistics show the cop that was shot was shot by another policeman.

Breonna Taylor died at the hands of people who had no business ever being policemen.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Remember the days when many officers could go their entire career without ever once drawing their weapon. When police officers were trained to escalate, rather than inflame, a situation. Remember those days?

Dutchess_III's avatar

It really is out of control. But why??

seawulf575's avatar

@zenvelo The ballistics of the bullet that shot the cop was a 9 mm. The cops all carried .40 caliber pistols. The one cop does have a 9 mm, but it wasn’t determined if he was using it or if it was his gun. The bullet, from what I can find, was never found…therefore ballistics cannot be done to determine which gun it came from.

seawulf575's avatar

@Darth_Algar Yeah…those were the days. Hey! Weren’t those also the days when people gave cops respect? And when cops weren’t specifically targeted for execution?

crazyguy's avatar

@ragingloli Yes, I do remember two shots being fired. However, a person who resists arrest for a minor offense may have other weapons in his possession or on his premises.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

The bullet, from what I can find, was never found

Conveniently.

crazyguy's avatar

@zenvelo The only mention of the witness recanting his testimony is in a statement by the defense attorney for Walker: “That witness, according to Crump and Walker’s lawyer Steven Romines, has changed his story.” Do you have a different version of the story?

@seawulf575 Your comment about the ballistics is spot on. What I heard on TV this morning was that there was no confirmation of whether the bullet was fired from Walker’s gun, and there was no evidence to suggest otherwise.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@crazyguy “However, a person who resists arrest for a minor offense may have other weapons in his possession or on his premises.”

So police can execute based on speculation?

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

It’s not that the witness recanted. Two months after the event, he changed his story to (kind of) agree with the cops.

Both accounts are in police documents.

Vice News – Aarin Sarpee initially told investigators that he didn’t hear police say who they were before ramming through Taylor’s door. Two months later, he drastically changed his recollection.

1)
“On March 21, a week after the shooting, Sgt. Jason Vance asked Sarpee directly if he heard anyone identify themselves as police. Sarpee responded, “No, nobody identified themselves.” ”

2)
“Another PIU investigator, Sgt. Amanda Seeyle, called Sarpee back two months later, on May 15, the file shows. At that point, Sarpee said he did hear police say, “This is the cops.” ”

” “It’s been so long now,” Sarpee tells Seeyle on the call. “I recall some of it.” ”

Dutchess_III's avatar

What a sad state of affairs.

ragingloli's avatar

Usually people remember less after 2 months.
Who knows what the cops threatened him with.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I hit a deer two months ago and wouldn’t feel comfortable testifying to what happened.

crazyguy's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay This is the first time I have heard that version of the story! The link you provided also says the following: “Sarpee got into an argument with Detective Brett Hankison as the officers were banging on Taylor’s door.” So he was apparently wide awake and very close to the action.

Now isn’t banging on the door inconsistent with no knock?

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