By Catherine Brown-
A grand jury convened to determine whether LMPD officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove would be under indictment for the murder of Breonna Taylor. On Sept. 23, the jury charged only one officer, Hankison, with three counts of wanton endangerment.
This means that the officer is accused of endangering Taylor’s neighbors when he shot into the surrounding apartment walls. No officer was charged for killing Taylor, an innocent black woman who was asleep in her bedroom.
The protests following her death have made an impact on some policy. Since protests have started, we’ve seen progress in getting justice for Breonna Taylor and for the Black community of Louisville.
Sadiqa Reynolds, president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League, tweeted a list of impacts that protests have made in Louisville.
In this list, she includes the exiting of former Police Chief Robert Schroeder, who was replaced by interim Police Chief Yvette Gentry. Gentry is the first black female police chief for the LMPD, a point which Reynolds notes in her list.
“I know some want total defunding but whatever exists in this country should include us,” Reynolds said.
She also lists that LMPD is receiving a top to bottom review, and body cameras are now mandatory for search warrants.
Additionally, social programs are being implemented for the west end. These programs will build 100 homes in the west end for Black homeowners. Reynolds says corporations are even donating gifts to support rebuilding in the area. Social workers are also becoming involved in family resettlement.
These are just a few of the progressions made for the local community.
Kentucky State Representative Attica Scott and her daughter Ashanti, a political science major at U of L, were arrested after demonstrating in a Breonna Taylor protest on Sept. 24. Scott recently introduced “Breonna’s Law,” which seeks to ban no-knock warrants in Kentucky.
The two were participating in the protest and were seeking sanctuary at the First Unitarian Church, a church in downtown Louisville that was open after curfew. Houses of worship were exempt from the curfew policy.
Scott said she was arrested at 8:58 p.m., curfew started at 9 p.m.
“There was never a need for no-knock search warrants like the one used in Breonna’s case, and while this type of warrant is now banned here in Metro Louisville and appears to have little use elsewhere, I want to make sure statewide law keeps it from ever coming back. In addition, I want to make sure a judge specifically approves any use of violent entry when a warrant is carried out, and I want all law enforcement officers to have to wear body cameras and be required to use them when serving any warrant.”
In the law, she states videos would have to be made available when complaints are filed. Those that violate these requirements will face suspension or even termination. She always wants law enforcement officers to undergo a drug and alcohol screening after a deadly incident or firing a weapon while on duty.
We have quite a long way to go until justice is ever met though. Hankison was only in jail for a little more than half an hour. Due to the double jeopardy defense, he will not be brought back to trial for re-sentencing on the same charge as before. But the public understands that the murder of a black woman not only in Louisville, but anywhere in the world, will not be tolerated nor will we forget the crime.
Breonna deserves justice. Don’t stop saying her name and continue fighting.
File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal