Even though it took authorities more than two years to begin termination procedures for two officers charged in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, a prosecutor in Louisville said Thursday he has no intention of dropping charges against those protesting her death. These are the same protesters who say that it was the police who have continuously lied to the community and investigators about Taylor’s death.
The Louisville Courier Journal reports that Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell claims that the cases against the protesters have not met his “criteria for dismissal,” and his office will move forward with prosecutions.
"This consistent approach to prosecuting these cases ensures the public that every member of our community is treated fairly and equally be for the law," O'Connell said.
Taylor, 26, was an emergency medical technician. She was killed when police raided her home while executing an illegally obtained no-knock warrant on Mar. 13, 2020, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Taylor wasn't the subject of the warrant and was sleeping when officers rammed through her door.
"I can show time and time and time again how the law doesn't work in our favor, period," protest organizer Chris Will told the Courier Journal.
Louisville Metro Police officer Cory Evans was federally charged for bludgeoning an unarmed protester with a wooden riot stick while the person was kneeling, and officer Katie Crews was charged federally with unreasonable use of force after the shooting death of David McAtee, a local barbecue stand owner.
So far, about 70% of the 1,000 cases against the protesters—charged variously with blocking roadways, property damage, and threats of violence—have been dropped, but around 300 remain active.
Detective Sgt. Kyle Meany, one of four officers recently terminated by the Louisville Metro police department, is being accused by Will and others of concealing information to other officers about the no-knock warrant that ultimately led to Taylor’s death, the Courier Journal reports.
Court records found that for several days, Meany was surveilling Taylor’s apartment and knew that her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had a concealed carry permit. Meany neglected to inform the detectives executing the search warrant at the apartment about the concealed permit.
On Wednesday, poet and activist Hannah Drake called out prosecutors and the police department, saying, "You called us thugs. You called us losers. We were the ones that were ruining this city. We didn't break the contract with this city.”
"Y'all are concerned about some broken windows. I'm concerned about the broken trust in this community. Every window is fixed. How do you fix Tamika Palmer? How do you fix Kenneth Walker?"
Written by Rebekah Sager. Cross-posted from Daily Kos.