A lot of us give the New York Times a lot of grief, and for good reason. The Old Gray Lady ain’t what she used to be. Instead, she’s a horribly biased institution generally still trading on the greatness of decades long gone by.
However, from time to time, there are flashes of journalistic brilliance, such as the minute-by-minute recounting of Kyle Rittenhouse’s actions in Kenosha.
It seems they cracked down and did it again, this time creating a video that outlines just what happened the night Breonna Taylor was killed.
It’s a long video, to be sure, and not everyone will have time to delve into it.
Over at Tactical Life Magazine, they summed up some key parts of it.
After the shootings, SWAT arrived on the scene. It’s clear the veteran SWAT commander saw an operation he found littered with problems.
“We just got the feeling that night that something really bad happened,” Louisville SWAT Commander Dale Massey told The New York Times. “We had no idea they were going to be at that apartment that night. … I would have advised them 100-percent not to do it.”
Massey questioned the intelligence and the presumed lack of vetting. He criticized the execution, including officers inserting themselves into the “fatal funnel,” compromising the mission. But his greatest disdain came from Detective Hankison’s blind shooting through curtain-drawn windows.
“You have to know A, what you’re shooting at, B, what’s in front of it, and B, what’s behind it,” Massey said. “There’s no other way you can operate. It was just an egregious act.”
Why was SWAT not in charge of the raid to begin with? It seems there were other raids going on that night, raids where SWAT was utilized. In other words, the most highly trained officers were simply stretched too thin.
Instead, the Taylor raid was conducted by officers who were less well-trained in this time of situation, which created all sorts of problems and resulted in what we see in the video. The guys generally trained for this sort of thing were busy and the guys who didn’t were spearheading the raid. As a result, people died.
None of this was helped, of course, by the officers not wearing body cams, which would have given us a view of what they were doing and seeing. It also made it very difficult to either prosecute or vindicate the officers involved.
The truth is that regardless of what the courts may have ruled, this was a screwed up raid from the start. Departments need to study this so they can learn how to prevent this sort of thing from ever happening again. While I still think heads should have rolled, I’m not in any position to make that happen. However, I can suggest that departments tighten up on this.
Don’t send officers to do raids unless they’re fully trained. Use SWAT when possible and create teams who can handle the duty when SWAT is stretched too thin. Don’t let this happen again.