Breonna Taylor’s Death Was a Tragedy–But Not an Example of Systemic Racism

On September 23, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron “announced the completion of the Special Prosecution Unit’s (SPU) investigation into the death of Ms. Breonna Taylor.”

According to the report, “In the early morning hours of March 13, Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, Detective Brett Hankison, and Detective Myles Cosgrove executed a search warrant at the home of Ms. Breonna Taylor. The officers were advised by superiors to knock and announce their presence in serving this specific search warrant. Evidence from SPU’s investigation shows that officers both knocked and announced their presence at the apartment. The officer’s statements about their announcement are corroborated by an independent witness who was near in proximity to Ms. Taylor’s apartment.”

This is significant. The officers did not execute a no-knock warrant. They made their presence and intent known before they entered. And a witness corroborates this.

The report continues, “When officers were unable to get anyone to answer or open the door to the apartment, the decision was made to breach the door. After breaching the door, Sergeant Mattingly was the first, and only officer, to enter the residence. Sergeant Mattingly identified two individuals standing beside one another at the end of the hall, a male and female. In his statement, he says that the male was holding a gun, arms extended, in a shooting stance. Mattingly saw the man’s gun fire, heard a ‘boom,’ and immediately knew he was shot as a result of feeling heat in his upper thigh.”

This is also significant. The police officers were fired upon first. They returned fire after one was hit by Taylor’s boyfriend. The police officers did not fire into Taylor’s bedroom as she lay sleeping.

The report goes into greater detail about the events that occurred that fateful night. Based on ballistic evidence, eyewitness accounts, and Taylor’s boyfriend’s testimony, the shooting of Ms. Taylor was indeed a terrible tragedy, but not a racially charged murder.

Unfortunately, after the announcement, riots and violence broke out in Louisville. Two officers were shot during the riots.

Yet, interestingly, immediately after the announcement, a U-Haul truck full of riot gear (shields, goggles, weapons, etc.) was parked and unloaded near the downtown center of Louisville, where the riots originated.

Obviously, this was a pre-planned and coordinated effort. And it speaks volumes about what is really taking place in the country, from a 50,000-foot vantage point.

It also just so happens, by total coincidence, no doubt, that huge protests took place throughout America’s cities after Cameron’s press conference.

Once again, what happened in the early morning hours of March 13 in Louisville was heartbreaking. However, the violent, destructive reaction to the investigation’s findings is completely indefensible and unwarranted.

The notion of mob rule, which is what the protesters are demanding, has been incubating for months on the far-left. In other words, the far-left has been part and parcel to the anarchy that overtook Louisville, and that has destroyed countless American cities over the past six months.

As U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr said when the riots began in late May, “Unfortunately, with the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful protests are being hijacked by violent radical elements. In many places it appears the violence is planned, organized, and driven by far left extremist groups and anarchic groups using Antifa-like tactics.”

This is a very important point that must be made loud and clear. What is happening across America is not a racial reckoning. It is not a grass-roots movement opposed to so-called police brutality.

Actually, it is a far-Left attempt to destroy the underpinnings of America. “Abolish the police,” they say. “Reparations!,” they demand.

On and on they go, pushing false narratives to rally misinformed Americans into thinking that America is an irredeemable, racist dystopia. This is Marxist rhetoric at its worst. It is meant to divide the country along racial and class lines. And it is extremely dangerous.

The United States is a melting pot. People from all over the world come here because America is the land of opportunity. America’s founding ideals, including our embrace of capitalism and the rule of law, is what makes America great.

Yet, there is a concerted and well-funded effort to replace capitalism with socialism, to replace the rule of law with mob rule and replace our nation’s motto of E pluribus unum with the fractious forces of balkanization.

The riots and disregard for the legal process that occurred in Louisville is symbolic of the far-Left’s quest to remake America in its socialist vision. In socialist societies, the rule of law does not matter and does not exist. In socialism, wealth redistribution and class struggle matters–not black lives, or any other lives.

And, sadly, as the events of the past six months show, America’s social fabric, which holds us together, is being torn apart at the seams by radical Marxists who want to re-stitch our society with the threads of socialism.

PHOTO: Black Lives Matter manifestation in Stockholm June 3, 2020, by Frankie Fouganthin, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

Chris Talgo (ctalgo@heartland.org) is an editor at The Heartland Institute.