Friday, May 15, 2020

 Like I said the other day, I had a lot of Actual Paying Work to get done this week. That took up more time and energy than I thought it would. Plus, I stayed up until dawn afterwards playing Phantom Doctrine, but that’s nobody’s fault but my own.

 The upshot of all this is I really didn’t pay much attention to the world around me. Part of it was because I was so tired but most of it was because I was in one of my moods and, quite frankly, the rest of the Universe can go screw. I’ve got work lined out for me for the rest of the month, so I’m thinking it’s going to monkey with both the Gibberish and the News. How, I don’t know but we’ll figure it out as we go along.

 That all being said, I do want to talk about Breonna Taylor, yet another example of how local law screws around with black people and whether or not they deserve to live. Similar to the Ahmaud Arbery case in Georgia, a black person was killed for no damn reason beyond she was black. The difference is, though, this was done by the police instead of gun-toting dingbats playing vigilante. Unfortunately, just like in that case, the rights of black people are being trampled and denied to protect a racist system, and the rest of Honky America trudged along in blissful ignorance until we were forced to pay attention.

 Let’s break it all down. On March 13 – yes, another one that simmered for months before White America (including me) woke up to it – police in Louisville, Kentucky were in the process of making a big narcotics sting. In the wee hours, they executed a “no-knock” warrant on an apartment where Taylor lived with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, with the idea of catching a “trap house” operation and a particular suspect in action.

 According to the police, Walker shot at them first so they felt the need to open with 25 blind shots in retaliation, filling the 26-year-old Taylor with bullets, as well as surrounding apartments. The EMT who was studying to be a nurse died on the scene and  the cops found no drugs once the scene was searched. Walker was charged with attempted murder for shooting Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly.  This is the “just the facts” part.

 However, Walker maintains the police never identified themselves and he thought he was defending himself and his girlfriend from home invaders. Indeed, the police were in plain clothes and not wearing anything that would have identified them as cops. This was backed by neighbors. He thought he was defending himself and Taylor from a home invasion, returning fire after being shot at first, as under Kentucky’s “stand your ground” law.

 Further weakening the cops’ claim is the fact that the trap house the cops were supposed to be hitting was not the apartment but was 10 miles away. Even worse for them, the actual perp they were looking for was already in custody. Walker was recently released due to COVID-19 concerns, drawing harsh criticism from Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad, who must have balls the size of watermelons. There was no body camera footage of the scene because Conrad says the “Criminal Interdiction Squad” doesn’t use that equipment.

 Like I said, this was pretty much under the radar for the past two months until brought to the country’s attention by activist Shaun King. Quick note on that, King is problematic to say the least, and much of his recent behavior has strained his credibility. That’s neither here nor there, though, because this whole affair is horseshit on its own merits.

 The arrest citation Walker gave at the scene says he claims he was the only shooter. Apart from the cops being 10 miles away from the place they were supposed to be and the perp they were looking for already in custody, a whole lot of the official word seems to be rather mutable. The warrant for his arrest, however, said multiple shots were fired on both sides. In fact, that initial warrant for a search of the apartment had Taylor rather than Walker down as the attorney. The police claim they didn’t use a battering ram on the apartment door, a claim disputed by Walker, his attorney and his neighbors at the apartment complex. 

 Sam Aguiar, a Louisville attorney representing the Taylor family has accused the Louisville police of a cover up. “It seems to me like they’re just trying to cover their tracks from day one,” he said. “Get your damn story straight.” For his part, Jefferson County Commonwealth’s District Attorney Tom Wine recused himself from reviewing the internal investigation done by the Louisville Metro Police’s Public Integrity Unit because he’s choosing to prosecute Walker for shooting a cop.

 So, a young woman is dead, a young man is facing prison, a city’s police force shows its corruption and ineptitude, and black people nationwide are told once again by the Powers That Be that their lives aren’t worth of concern. Furthermore – and this should worry my fellow honkies who think the Fourth Amendment is something – it’s another example in a long line of how the law tramples citizens rights for usually inane reasons and getting them called on it is like pulling teeth. 

 Once this penetrates the sandstone-like skulls of conservatives, I’m sure we’ll be hearing plenty of reasons why Taylor deserved a good shooting and why the cops shouldn’t even get a written warning. They’re using a video of Ahmaud Arbery looking in a window to justify his killing by two random gun-toting dingbats. All I’m going to say is that if that’s the world you want to live in, I’ve another reason to appreciate living in the boonies.

 Like with Arbery, we’ll be keeping an eye on this and we’ll feel ashamed that we didn’t know about it until black people had to scream their lungs out to get us to pay attention. Or we should on the latter, anyway, though I’m not sanguine we will. We as a culture – white folks, anyway – seem to dig on this sort of set up just like we dig on exposing ourselves to a hitherto unknown, possibly deadly virus so our bosses can buy another new car by the end of the year or get a haircut.

 Have a nice weekend, y’all.


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