One of the Officers Who Shot Breonna Taylor Is Being Fired...It Ain't Enough, but It's a Start

Illustration for article titled One of the Officers Who Shot Breonna Taylor Is Being Fired...It Ain't Enough, but It's a Start
Photo: Brett Carlsen (Getty Images)

It ain’t nearly enough...but it’s a start.

It’s been about three months and one week since Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by three Louisville police officers during a botched execution of a no-knock search warrant. Now, after all the time spent by Taylor’s family and community activists raising awareness and demanding justice for Breonna, the mayor of Louisville announced Friday that one of those three officers is being fired.

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NBC News reports that “the chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department, Rob Schroeder, is initiating termination procedures against the officer, Brett Hankison,” according to Mayor Greg Fischer.

Fischer said in a statement that “both the Chief and I are precluded from talking about what brought us to this moment, or even the timing of this decision” so there aren’t any details available about Hankison’s firing or whether or not the other two officers will be getting pink slips as well.

Earlier this month, The Root reported that Hankison had been accused by two women of sexual assault. Both women posted details of their alleged assaults on social media on the same day, June 4. Hankison has also been accused of repeatedly harassing, falsely arresting and planting drugs on a black man between 2016 and 2018. Obviously, there’s no indication that these things have anything to do with his firing, but they do indicate that this may have been long overdue.

Since Taylor’s death, Louisville has banned no-knock warrants and required that all officers wear body cameras while they are on duty. These measures are nice and all, but they fall way short of what the Black Lives Matter movement demands: We want all of Breonna’s killers to face criminal charges. Anything less will always feel like an attempt to pacify us without doing the real work.

Of course, after the LMPD released a nearly blank incident report on her death this month, there isn’t much confidence that true justice for Breonna will ever be achieved.

Hopefully, the pursuit of justice doesn’t end with one cop being fired...but it is a start.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

DISCUSSION

Hopefully this doesn’t come across as trolling, I’m honestly curious for others’ perspective. I also may very well may be missing details and just wrong.

I don’t find the officers on the scene at fault if I’m interpreting the case correctly. The officers on the scene were expecting a dangerous drug bust, heard shots as a response to their entry, and shot back. From the sounds of things, they were doing their job to the best of their abilities with the (incorrect) information given to them.

However, anyone involved in gathering the information on the house/suspect, planning, and of course whoever’s job it was to make sure their suspect wasn’t already in custody, are all responsible and have charges against them. If the officers’ only job was to perform the arrest and they weren’t a part of the planning, I think the charges and discipline should be at a higher pay grade than theirs.