I have some Actual Paying Work to do tonight, so this will probably be a short one. I also have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, so I can’t do my usual thing of waking up around 3 a.m. to do the APW. Plus, frankly, I’m a little brokenhearted.
In the matter of the late-night assault by Louisville police that resulted in the death of EMT Breonna Taylor, the grand jury handed down the indictment of one of the officers involved in the shooting. Brett Hankinson, who was also the only one fired over the shooting, will be charged with first-degree wanton endangerment. Not against Taylor or her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, no, but against their neighbor’s apartment building.
Let that sink in a bit. The other two cops, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly, the latter who released a rambling, threatening letter that referred to himself as a “warrior” and protestors as “thugs,” will not be charged and will soon rejoin the force after being placed on administrative leave. Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron said their investigation showed that Cosgrove and Mattingly were justified in returning fire after being shot at by Walker.
The reason Walker shot at them was because they executed a no-knock raid in the wee hours trying to find drugs in their apartment and Walker thought they were home invaders. There are conflicting reports as to whether they sufficiently identified themselves as police before kicking Walker’s door in. No drugs were found if anyone cares. Last week, Taylor’s family agreed to $12 million from the city of Louisville, but not the police department, in a civil suit over her death. Protests have started up over the decision, the cops have declared a curfew, the National Guard has been called, and a group of local right-wing dingbats that call themselves a “militia” has shown up loaded for bear because that will certainly keep things calm.
That’s just to catch us all up. I’ve written extensively about the Breonna Taylor case and my feelings on the matter. I see no need to revisit it, nor do I feel the need to repeat that I feel that, yes, we have a serious problem with police brutality in this country as well as a serious problem with systematic racism, particularly in the halls of power, that allows that first problem to run wild. I really don’t think wading into that again will do anyone any good, much less me and my blood pressure.
Nor, for that matter, do I wish to reiterate my dismay that far too many of My Fellow Americans are not only fine with the idea of living in a world where the officers of the law, the arm of government control, can shoot to death a person based on mistakes and sloppy police work, but that they’re actually eager for such a society. Here we are, though, and plenty of them are doing just that out of one side of their mouth while championing vigilante actions by the right-wing. If it helps at all, I don’t even begin to understand any of it.
I don’t know where this goes now, but I do know it’s not going away. The family of BBQ chef David “YaYa” McAtee is suing the city of Louisville and the Kentucky National Guard over them shooting him dead during previous protests at the first of June. Police continue to unjustly harass and kill black people (mostly but not all) with little or no consequence and we as a culture, at best, turn a blind eye to it or, at worst, enthusiastically support a system that makes for such a society. The protests will continue, the destruction will continue, and the knee from the government will press down that much harder on folks’ neck as they beg for more.
Something is going to give soon and it will not be pretty.