This year has brought a whirlwind of conflicts, catastrophes, and sadness.
But while the headlines have varied widely, there actually has been a consistent theme to them: the government is not to be trusted.
From the economic lockdowns to the public health failures to the police brutality cases, there’s so much corruption and incompetence that there’s literally something for everyone to be upset by – no matter what political camp you find yourself in.
Amid all the scandal, though, there’s one story that seems to have captured the nation’s attention for the most enduring amount of time. Breonna Taylor.
Despite numerous competing distractions, Americans have refused to let Breonna’s name fade into the background — and for good reason.
Breonna was a promising young woman, who clearly got mixed up with a bad boyfriend for a short time.
By the time she was killed by the police, she’d gone back to her college sweetheart, Kenneth Walker, and the two were talking about getting married.
Instead, she wound up dead in her own home, another victim of the War on Drugs and its despicable policy of no-knock warrants.
The plain facts of the case are horrendous enough on their own.
Breonna knew someone who sold drugs and wound up dead because of it.
No one involved with this entire case was ever even remotely suspected of being involved with a violent crime.
The stark reality is that her fate could be any one of ours in a reckless justice system that has no respect for human life or natural rights.
In fact, cops execute 20,000 similar raids a year.
But what happened after Breonna’s death occurred at the hands of the state is where the real damning evidence of government malfeasance comes in.
The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD), prosecutors, and even the Kentucky attorney general have all been caught lying, manipulating evidence, and breaking their own policies numerous times in this case.
First, they claimed to not have body-camera footage from the event.
That has now been debunked with video leaking this weekend. The footage appears to show fired detective Brett Hankison (the sole officer facing charges in the case) entering the crime scene and inquiring about shell casings.
If that proves to be true, it is a clear violation of policy for an officer involved in a shooting to enter the scene of a crime.
But there’s more, a lot more.
Prosecutors originally sought to charge Walker, who shot at his front door when police knocked it down, with the attempted murder of police officers.
Walker was clearly acting in self-defense, had no way of knowing it was the police breaking into his home in the middle of the night, and exercised his Second Amendment right.
Charges were dropped against Walker only after intense public outcry.
Police have insisted countless times that they announced themselves before entering the apartment — attempting to shift blame onto Walker and Taylor for their act of self-defense in the situation.
The attorney general, Daniel Cameron, accepted and repeated this statement as fact even though a dozen neighbors claim to have not heard the police do anything of the sort.
Despite this, police and the attorney general pointed to a single witness who they claimed heard the announcement, expecting the public (as it often does) to take their word over a dozen or so others.
But here’s the kicker.
\A report this week shows even that single account is conflicting and appears to have been manipulated by law enforcement.
This isn’t the only instance where the attorney general has been caught lying or misrepresenting the facts of the case. He’s on record telling reporters that law enforcement had ruled out "friendly fire" as the source of a bullet that hit LMPD Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly’s thigh that evening. He instead claimed this bullet came from Kenneth Walker’s gun and was the reason for the retaliatory shots from police into the apartment — ultimately killing Breonna Taylor.
But a new ballistics report does not support that assertion. It now appears the bullet may very well have come from Hankison’s gun, who is charged with blindly spraying bullets into Taylor’s apartment (and others’) from the parking lot. This is more than sloppy police work.
Perhaps most infuriating in this mound of sheer corruption is the fact that prosecutors offered Jamarcus Glover, Taylor’s ex-boyfriend and the actual subject of the warrant, a plea deal in exchange for implicating her in his drug crimes (they’ve not found one shred of evidence that has allowed them to do this otherwise).
As public sentiment turned against them, it is obvious that they were desperate for a way to turn their victim into a "criminal" — knowing full well that a large percent of the population would not care about her death if they could smear her name with even a nonviolent offense.
Glover declined to lie about her.
Prosecutors lobby hard in our nation’s capitols to block justice reforms that would check their power. In fact, they frequently claim to need the death penalty on the books as a bargaining chip in plea deals, and it’s a talking point that works with many lawmakers. But this case illustrates just how abusive plea bargaining is in general.
Too many people hang their hats on the word of our nation’s law enforcement representatives. This case clearly shows that’s a blind trust not warranted by their actual behavior. We need intense scrutiny, vivid transparency, and strong accountability in our justice system. Currently we have nothing of the sort.
To think that there are still those who would advocate giving this system the power of life and death boggles the mind. If they behave this way on a case that the whole nation is watching, imagine what they do on an average day.
Hannah Cox is the National Manager of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty. Hannah was previously Director of Outreach for the Beacon Center of Tennessee, a free-market think tank. Prior to that, she was Director of Development for the Tennessee Firearms Association and a policy advocate for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Read Hannah Cox's Reports — More Here.
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