Justice for the Taylor family was called into question after a grand jury refused to charge two of the three police officers, Sergeant Jon Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, with the killing of 26 year old emergency room technician, Breonna Taylor. The only indictment was handed to former Detective Bret Harkinson for allegedly firing blindly through a door and window. Harkinson’s bullets entered a neighbor’s apartment where a pregnant woman, a man, and a child were present.
Although an FBI ballistics analysis demonstrated that Cosgrove’s bullets were the fatal projectiles that brought the demise of Miss Taylor, Attorney General Daniel Cameron stated that the “officer’s use of force was justified”, as Taylor’s boyfriend was the first to fire shots at the officers.
The verdict of not guilty for the two officers quickly ignited protests across the nation.
Activists expressed their anger on the streets of New York, Atlanta, Minnesota, Los Angeles, and Louisville. The anguish escalated into clashes with the police, and in a tragic turn, resulted in multiple arrests and two Louisville police officers being shot, though their injuries are not life threatening.
Activists defied the curfew in downtown Louisville on Thursday, September 24th, with Police declaring the gatherings unlawful after damage was done to property. Protests are expected to continue not only in Louisville, Kentucky, but also throughout the nation. In NYC, thousands of people showed their outrage in the Upper East Side and in downtown Brooklyn. The dissatisfaction with the grand jury’s decision continues to resonate across the country with no signs of slowing down.
Signs of Change
The Taylor family wants the evidence presented at the trial to be released, which undoubtedly will open the trial up to further scrutiny. And with police conduct in the forefront of the nation’s attention again, Government officials across the country, such as Mario Cuomo of NY, are trying to reimagine policing tactics. This is a step in the right direction for the healing process to begin. Meanwhile activists will continue to voice their aspirations in the streets expressing their desire for a better style of policing.
By Claude-Robert Policart