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An inhumane system: the Breonna Taylor decision

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

Kaicie Boeglin

Opinions Editor

Via Reddit

Disappointment, betrayal by the system, name exploitation and utter dismay are only some of the feelings in the hearts of many, as the death of Breonna Taylor goes unjustified. The fact of the matter is that a woman was killed. Although many saw the jury's decision coming, no justice will be shown towards her existence.

If everyone is their own person, how could Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove have been cleared in their use of force? The defense for the decision rested on the fact that Taylor's boyfriend had allegedly fired shots first. However, even in this defense her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, is not her, Breonna Taylor. If she was her own person why can she not have justice? The only charge brought upon any of the three officers involved with the no-knock raid was brought upon Brett Hankison. The charge was for firing shots blindly through Taylor's window which sent bullets through a neighboring house. The neighboring apartment held a pregnant woman, her husband, and their 5-year-old child; no one was harmed.

Although it has been up for debate, it was proven that the no-knock raid was intended for Taylor’s residence. The perpetrator the police sought after was using her address for packages. They entered the house with force, shocking Walker, and then killed Taylor. Breonna Taylor was unarmed and fatally shot more than once. This woman who spent her life helping others was murdered barely five minutes after the officers barged into her home. Her killers have yet to be arrested, but Taylor's boyfriend was arrested the night of the raid for assault and attempted murder of a police officer. How is it that a black man can be arrested for protecting his home and himself in the matter of 30 seconds; yet, in six months time nothing happens to the three white men who had a part in fatally shooting a woman six times.

The indictment of Hankison wedges the knife in the heart deeper as he fired 10 of the 32 shots, none of which struck Taylor. This means the only charge against any officer involved in the Breonna Taylor case is minuscule at best, and does not benefit Taylor or her family in any way. Hankison was dismissed from the force with a termination letter that stated he showed "an extreme indifference to human life." The irony of the situation is that, yes, he fired shots into a neighboring apartment, but he is the only officer serving repercussions when he did not directly kill someone. Therefore, how is it that Mattingly and Cosgrove can walk around as free men still possessing the opportunity to protect and serve?

The protests in light of the Kentucky grand jury’s decision are a valid response to the inhumane act of letting Mattingly and Cosgrove walk free. The outbreak of violence is not correct, but it has become warranted. Media only portrays the negative connotations to the movements happening. To truly be heard one must sign petitions, use words both orally and written, and take necessary action to reach a government official. All human lives matter, and as black lives are pushed out of the picture it has become the job of this generation to reset our foundation.The decision to not charge the officers affiliated with the killing of Taylor is saddening, but not shocking. This was a chance for our legal system to tend to the Black Lives Matter movement, but instead they chose to euthanize that idea by letting Breonna Taylor’s murderers walk free.


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