Wallboard Over

    Eugene Robinson

    There was no justice for Breonna Taylor, so there was no peace Wednesday night on the streets of Louisville.

     It is no surprise that the Louisville police officers who burst into Taylor's apartment in the middle of the night and shot her dead escaped murder charges.

    But the one indictment that was handed down by the grand jury actually makes the outcome feel worse. One officer was charged with "wanton endangerment," a minor felony ranked alongside shoplifting, for stray shots he fired that entered an adjacent apartment but didn't hit anyone. No one was charged with anything, not even a misdemeanor, for firing the bullets that ended Taylor's life. There will be literally zero accountability for Taylor's killing: The other two officers involved weren't even fired.

    How can that be? Do we have a justice system that values wallboard over human flesh? Or is this true only when the flesh in question belonged to a 26-year-old Black woman whose death can be written off as collateral damage?


    I filed this column late. Very late. I couldn’t find the words — an unsettling experience for a writer. The words I did conjure failed, not because the message was difficult to convey, but rather because the conveyance is maddeningly depressive in repetition.

    The killing of Breonna Taylor reveals yet again how easy it is for the state to take a Black life and how hard it is to hold the state accountable for its transgression. That is in part because the system is designed to make it nearly impossible for the state totransgress.

    Taylor was an innocent woman, sleeping in her own home, breaking no law. The state broke down her door and shot her dead.

    Most of what the state did in her home that night was in fact, outrageously, legal. According to the state attorney general, the two officers who shot her were justified in using lethal force because her boyfriend, believing that people were breaking into the house to harm him and Taylor, deigned to defend himself by shooting at the intruders.

    That, according to the state, allowed the officers to then act in self-defense. But here’s the problem: The bullets went into Taylor, not her boyfriend. How can you justify killing me while defending yourself from something my friend did?


    Misinformation spread by Daniel Cameron

    Furthermore, Taylor’s death was not, as Cameron suggested, simply a tragedy for which no one is to blame. The police work in this case was sloppy, and the warrant service was reckless. Taylor is dead because of a cascade of errors, bad judgment and dereliction of duty. And it’s important that the record on this be clear. So here are some correctives for the misinformation I’ve seen online:



    Protests will not re-elect Trump. The people of the United States will re-elect Trump.

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