By Emily Cousins | Staff Writer
Before Breonna Taylor got justice for her life, her neighbor’s apartment was protected.
Breonna Taylor was murdered in her own home on March 13 by Louisville Metro Department officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove. Hankison was indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. Several of the bullets he fired went into her neighbor’s apartment.
Mayor Greg Fischer announced that the city would pay Taylor’s family $12 million in a wrongful death lawsuit. In the civil lawsuit, it was clearly stated that Taylor’s death was wrong. In pursuing a criminal lawsuit, only one officer was indicted and it was for damaging property, not for murdering an innocent 26-year-old woman.
Why was it so easy to acknowledge in the civil lawsuit that it was wrongful death, but when it came down to who to hold responsible, none of the police officers were indicted?
This is not the first time during the Black Lives Matter movement we have seen property valued over Black peoples’ lives.
At many of the protests, fires and looting have happened, and this has led to law enforcement and militias coming to the scene and shooting, harming or arresting people for damaging property. Many people have expressed they agree with the sentiment of the protests, but they condemn the destruction of property.
Why is destroying property seen as radical when Black people are losing their lives simply for the color of their skin?
Yet again in Taylor’s case, we see property is more important than her life.
All three police officers need to be held responsible for their actions. It doesn’t matter who they are or their job. The fact is, they entered her home unannounced, were surprised when her boyfriend was defending her and their home, and then killed her.
The worst thing is that it’s been made clear they do not regret what happened.
“I know we did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night,” Mattingly wrote in an email to other LMPD officers.
The police do not get to harm and kill people without being held responsible. This is unacceptable and needs to be rectified.
We must stand with Taylor’s family and the protestors in Louisville. We need to sign the petition to fight for Taylor and contact lawmakers, all included in this link, to demand for justice and action.
This is a human life that was lost too soon. She should be alive today.