Breonna Taylor wasn’t doing anything wrong. After all, she was asleep in her home when police busted through. She didn’t survive the encounter, despite no evidence of her having been armed, much less a threat to law enforcement.
Her death, followed soon after by the death of George Floyd, compounded to make the outrage over what many see as racist policing burn even hotter.
In the wake of Taylor’s death, though, it became very important that the investigation be as transparent and fair as humanly possible. The people of Louisville needed to see definitively that the system was working for them and not just there to protect police from the fallout of their mistakes.
The report just released about the incident doesn’t do that in the least.
early three months after Louisville Metro Police officers fatally shot Breonna Taylor in her South End apartment, the department has released the incident report from that night.
Except, it is almost entirely blank.
The four-page report lists the time, date, case number, incident location and the victim’s name — Breonna Shaquille Taylor — as well as the fact that she is a 26-year-old black female.
But it redacts Taylor’s street number, apartment number and date of birth — all of which have been widely reported.
And it lists her injuries as “none,” even though she was shot at least eight times and died on her hallway floor in a pool of blood, according to attorneys for her family.
It lists the charges as “death investigation — LMPD involved” but checks the “no” box under “forced entry,” even though officers used a battering ram to knock in Taylor’s apartment door.
But the most important portion of the report — the “narrative” of events that spells out what happened March 13 — has only two words: “PIU investigation.”
And the rest of the report has no information filled in at all.
Apparently, the LMPD thinks “transparent,” in this context, means that you can’t see a damn thing.
Look, I tend to be fairly pro-police, but I’m not going to cover for them when they screw up, especially if an innocent woman dies because of it. This report smacks of cover-up, at least to my eyes. Saying that Taylor was uninjured, despite reportedly being shot eight times? That doesn’t ring true to anyone.
Meanwhile, with anti-police animosity at an all-time high, it was on the LMPD to handle things right. They needed to desperately, if for no other reason than to quell the unrest in the city that’s still simmering.
Now, all they’ve managed to do was tell those with resentments that they were right to distrust the police.
Oh, they might not explode and riot over this one document, but it’s priming the powder keg. At this point, the only outcome that could prevent further unrest are charges against the officers involved. I honestly don’t see how anything less will soothe the animosity, and that’s on the LMPD.
That’s not how it should work. The officers should get a fair investigation without anyone having to worry about public sentiment. Yet this report, a report that has so little information as to be laughable, changes that to some degree.
I’m not saying that the officers should be charged regardless of their innocence, only that now people aren’t open to them actually being innocent.
In fairness, many probably weren’t from the start, but still, this isn’t helping. Instead, I fear this may just make everything we’re currently seeing that much worse.