Loading: Accountability.

Edited by Natalie Irula

Angelisse Alvarez

Staff Writer

A year later and Breonna Taylor’s murderers have still not been charged for her death. 

On March 13, 2020, 26 year old Breonna Taylor was shot by police in Louisville, KY when they invaded her home. 

Brett Hankison, one of the 3 murderers, was fired and charged. But not for her death. Hankison was charged with 3 counts of Wanton Endangerment because his bullets shot into a neighbor’s apartment. 

The two other officers, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, were fired in January – a whole 10 months after killing Taylor. 

Meaning known murderers were employed for nearly a year. 

Joshua Jaynes, the detective who wrote the search warrant, was also fired in January.

Still, nobody has been charged for her death. It is shameful how slow this case is moving.  

The death of an innocent woman isn’t debatable. It should have immediately led to the officers’ arrests. 

Yet there were attempts to charge Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker for having defensively fired once during the raid. This baffles me. 

It’s saying that murder doesn’t justify punishment, but acting in defense to avoid being murdered by police does? This is authoritarianism. 

The case against Walker was permanently closed on March 8. 

After prosecutors finally declared Walker innocent, his lawyer Steve Romines said that until Taylor’s murderers are held accountable, Walker “and our community, as a whole, cannot begin the process of healing until that happens.”

Taylor’s mother Tamika Palmer told WLKY News that she is angry and in disbelief that the officers still haven’t been charged for her death. 

“Still, just like, I can’t believe it’s a year later and we’re still just asking people to do the right thing,” said Palmer.  

“We still have to demand and fight which I don’t understand why. I’ve never seen something so black and white and nobody willing to do the right thing.”  

The lengths people go to try and justify Taylor’s death proves how willingly people turn their heads, and how racist this country is. 

To look cruelty in the face and pretend it doesn’t exist enables that cruelty. 

The inability for people to admit that cops can do wrong, given how public police brutality has been, is straight up unproductive. It is clear that this denial intertwines with racism. 

There are some developments in the case. Walker filed a lawsuit on March 15that says the police raid violated his and Taylor’s fourth amendment rights.

DC lawyers Donald Verrilli Jr. and Cliff Sloan took the case. “It’s a constitutional requirement that police knock and announce themselves” Sloan said to Washingtonian. 

The lawsuit also “alleges a pattern of problematic search warrants within the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department, and a failure to train officers in using reasonable force.” 

Breonna’s Law, which bans no-knock warrants, is continuously proposed nationwide. No-knock warrants were limited but not banned in Kentucky on Tuesday, March 30. 

In March, Palmer filed internal affair complaints against six officers involved in Taylor’s death. The lawsuit calls for them to be investigated. 

Some of the claims include LT. Shawn Hoover lacking supervisor skills and tampering with evidence. 

Palmer said that Sgt. Amanda Seelye “allowed this investigation to become compromised.”

“Evidence was not recovered, witnesses were not interviewed. Officers were not separated,” Palmer said.   

Det. Anthony James is alleged to have removed evidence like Mattingly’s gun and wallet, allowed by Det. Mike Nobles. James allegedly made false statements. 

Palmer said Sgt. Kyle Meany and Det. Mike Campbell continued to track Taylor’s phone even after learning it did not belong to Jamarcus Glover, who was the actual suspect. 

In response, the LMPD said they are conducting investigations. I hope this statement was serious. 

Because police brutality does not start and end by the hands of officers who directly kill and pull the trigger. It is upheld by the racism that is written into the blueprint of the criminal justice system. 

Coverup, abuse of power, surveillance, profiling, deciding who goes to jail and for how long – all of this is influenced by race. 

Therefore, dismissing this conversation by saying there are only a “few” bad cops brings nothing of value. It derails. 

Charging officers like Myles Cosgrove, Jonathan Mattingly and Brett Hankison with murder is what accountability actually means. 

Breonna Taylor’s family, activists and supporters across the nation continue fighting for accountability, while sharing and reiterating both her story and memory.

“You’ve seen us stand, you’ve seen us gather, march, protest, cry.. it’s crazy how long its been,” said Palmer alongside national social justice group Until Freedom on March 11. 

“What you won’t see though is us divide on what we want.” 

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