Christian Commentaries
dateline: August 11,2020

Breonna Taylor, The Judge Is Guilty

The people of Louisville, Kentucky should be preparing themselves for disappointment in the appealed-for indictment of the police officers involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor. The firing of one of the officers involved in the March 13, 2020, shooting will surely be reversed, and the public will cry for a change in the relationship with police and their unions. But in this case the direct cause of Breonna Taylor's death rests with the judge approving the no-knock warrants, not the police officers.

By all accounts the officers involved in the shooting were simply following procedure. This does not mean they were doing their jobs correctly, certainly not in preparing the warrants and documenting why no-knock warrants were needed. But here they had oversight, a judge. And here is the problem, Louisville Circuit Judge Mary Shaw who signed-off on five (5) no-knock warrants for the arrest of Jamarcus Glover, at five different locations, did not do her job properly.

What standards do judges use in approving no-knock warrants? Was there a reasonable suspicion that knocking and announcing the presence of police officers would be dangerous or futile, or that it would inhibit the effective investigation of the crime by allowing the destruction of evidence? If not, a no-knock warrant was not justified.

The fault is not with the officers.  The fault is with the judge who signed-signed off on the warrants.

And if we look at this correctly, we may be able stop the unjustified shooting of minority or under-represented citizens and residents.

We need to review the existing data on no-knock warrants throughout the country:

  • Where do they occur; in suburbia or in the inner city? Percentages please!

  • Who is involved; minorities and under-represented residents or non-minorities and well represented citizens? Percentages please!

  • What officers are requesting and preparing these warrants for signature; by race and ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation or persuasion, length of service, residence-- inner city or suburb?

  • Who are the judges granting such warrants by race, and ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation or persuasion, length of service, residence�inner city or suburbs, political affiliation?

  • Where no-knock warrants are granted, are judges elected or appointed?

    • If elected, were they Law and Order candidates?

    There are probably other data needed to carefully study this matter, and a statistical investigator would certainly be able to come up with them. But I am betting that once the data is in we'll see that while the officers involved in the shootings are generally simply following procedure. Judges are responsible for most unjustified shootings involving no-knock warrants.

    Of the officers involved in the shooting, Officer Brett Hankison is the sole officer fired following the shooting and he will certainly get his job back on appeal. The argument stated for his firing by the interim chief is that he displayed extreme indifference to the value of human life when he fired "wantonly and blindly ten rounds into the apartment of Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020."

    We have seen officers fire multiples of 10 rounds at unarmed victims and successfully argue that they felt that their lives were threatened. In the Breonna Taylor case we know that the officers were fired at with deadly force by Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker a licensed gun owner who thought someone was attempting to break into the apartment, before they returned fire.  (If someone shot at me, my aim might also be wanton and blind. Not that this should be the standard for police marksmanship, but it is what we have grown to accept.)

    Rather than waste more time and energy seeking vengeance by arguing for what will never happen, lets spend our resources pursuing what can be changed, the broken judicial system.

    Lets review the data.

    Romans 12:19 (KJV) 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  

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