It was just after midnight on March 13 when 26-year-old Breanna Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were jolted out of sleep as several unidentified officers broke into their apartment with a battering ram, executing a no-knock search warrant for two people who lived ten miles away.
Believing it was a home invasion, Walker, who was licensed to carry a firearm, fired his gun, injuring one of the officers, prompting them to return fire. In a hail of gunfire, police fired over 20 rounds into an apartment tragically striking Taylor eight times, killing her. Walker was initially charged with attempted murder of a police officer but as fallacies in the raid unfolded, charges were dropped.
Turns out, it was not the first time this group of officers executed a no-knock raid on an innocent family.
In 2018, five of the officers involved in the Taylor raid conducted another no-knock raid on another innocent family based on questionable evidence, leaving family members traumatized and leading to no charges against the cops, according to Vice News, which obtained footage of the raid which you can see above.
Had those officers been disciplined, Taylor would likely still be alive today.
Taylor’s killing took place two months before the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, setting off months of protests that continue to this day. And it has brought to light fundamental flaws in no-knock raids and the devastating impact they can have, specifically when conducted on innocent people.
According to Cornell Law School:
“A no-knock warrant is a search warrant authorizing police officers to enter certain premises without first knocking and announcing their presence or purpose prior to entering the premises. Such warrants are issued where an entry pursuant to the knock-and-announce rule would lead to the destruction of the objects for which the police are searching or would compromise the safety of the police or another individual.”
The raid that killed Taylor is eerily similar to the Houston no-knock raid that occurred on January 28, 2019, that killed Rhogena Nicholas and Dennis Tuttlehouston.
Like the Louisville raid, Houston plainclothes officers executed a search warrant on a house where innocent and unsuspecting people thought intruders were breaking in and used a firearm to defend themselves, only to be shot to death by cops. Houston police at first tried to spin the story that they were the victims but that story quickly fell apart.
But even then, it still took seven months to arrest the two Houston cops on criminal charges, including first-degree murder charges against former Houston cop Gerald Goines and witness tampering against fellow cop Steven Bryant. The Houston Police Department also ended no-knock search warrants a month after the killings.
In Taylor’s case, five months have passed since the killing and no charges have been filed against the Louisville Metro police officers who killed her. The Louisville city council also ended no-knock raids in June.
The five officers involved in both raids are Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, Mike Campbell, Mike Nobles and Joshua Jaynes.
Only Hankison has been fired. The others have either been placed on paid administrative leave or “reassigned.”
In June, the Cincinnati Police Department denied rumors it had hired Hankison, who is pictured above on the bottom right of the left half of the photo. The cop next to him is Cosgrove and the cop above them is Jaynes, who wrote the affidavits for the warrant on Taylor’s residence.
Both the FBI and state attorney general claim they are conducting thorough investigations.
“I can assure you that at the end of our investigation, we will do what is right,” Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said in a recent press conference.
Cameron, a Black Republican, just spoke at the Republican National Convention, only mentioning Taylor’s name once, according to a transcript of his speech.
“In fact, it was Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, a future Republican president, who said democracy is a system that recognizes the equality of humans before the law. Whether you are the family of Breonna Taylor or David Dorn, these are the ideals that will heal our nation’s wounds.”
He also criticized the “anarchists” who have taken to the streets calling for justice in these types of cases.
But even as anarchists mindlessly tear up American cities while attacking police and innocent bystanders, we Republicans do recognize those who work in good faith towards peace, justice, and equality.
Meanwhile, nationwide calls for justice against the officers involved in the deadly raid have gone unanswered.