The Breonna Taylor Sadness

Terry H. Schwadron

Sept. 24, 2020

That Kentucky could file no criminal charges against two police officers for fatally shooting of Breonna Taylor, a Black health care worker, in her own apartment — the wrong apartment — was a sad commentary on our communal sense of responsibility.

Yes, the case had complications, but the essential fact is that no one being held responsible for killing a black woman by police serving a no-knock warrant to the wrong address.

That a lesser charge of recklessness be found for a third officer, who was fired because some rounds went into a neighboring apartment with an injured white resident is somehow more absurd.

That the city of Louisville could rig itself in a day for the inevitability of riots and not deal with this case effectively over six months of consideration, that it would never disclose some of the evidence, and that it would allow at least one of the officers to taunt the process as it was proceeding shows our priorities are upside-down.

And that the tragic result should be shooting in the street of at least two other police officers by parties unknown speaks volumes about the prevalence of guns and high emotion.

What is the price for Law & Order? How can we publicly celebrate a white St. Louis couple for threatening to shoot protesters as a stand to defend their homes while exempting police returning fire against Breonna’s Black lover doing the same? What is the point of Donald Trump praising a prosecutor who never gets to the causal issues? Why is this scene all so familiar, only to be repeated again tomorrow or next week?

Who are we? What have we become?