Justice needs to be served for Breonna Taylor

The judicial system has failed Black Americans once again


Emmy Pearson

26-year-old Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by Louisville, Kentucky police in her home March 13. No officers were charged for her death, but instead for wanton endangerment Sept. 23.

Jayde Claussen

When people commit crimes, they go to jail. This is what we are told by the justice system as children. However, when criminals wear a uniform, their crimes are now justified and they live free of many consequences. This is the case for police officers around the country and an example needs to be made that these actions are not tolerated. 

On the night of March 13, Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker woke up to banging on the door. Walker assumed someone was trying to break into their apartment and grabbed his gun. The three officers storm in and fearful Walker shoots Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly in the thigh. Immediately, the officers shot up to 25 times in return and over six of those bullets hit Taylor according to CNN.

Starting with a few of the details that initially caught my attention: They suspected that Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, was drug trafficking and sending packages to her apartment, even though the postal service confirmed Taylors address was not receiving any suspicious packages according to WDRB news. Glover was already in custody. The police officers shot blindly into the apartment endangering neighbors and killing Taylor. After Taylor was shot, they did not provide her with medical attention while Walker called 911. Walker was charged with attempting to assault a police officer and taken into custody that night according to CNN. 

After months of protests demanding justice, the public heard the ruling from Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron that former officer Brett Hankinson would be indicted for endangering the neighbors after bullets flew into their apartment endangering a family. While the other two officers still were not charged. According to Cameron, they were justified. 

This case is not only a tragedy, but a reality for Black Americans. These three men broke into their apartment, killed an innocent woman, watched her die and then arrested her boyfriend and didn’t get charged for the crime they committed. This is disgusting and proves that our current justice system is flawed and unequal. 

Rather than taking action to reform the police force and apologize on behalf of their murderous colleagues, officers around the country have united to justify and lie about their behavior. They do this because they are pressured to do so. This is commonly referred to as the blue wall of silence and reinforces that officers do not report when their colleagues commit a crime or abuse citizens. 

One of the first Law enforcements of the country began as a way to catch slaves running away according to Eastern Kentucky university’s police study research, and ever since then, has targeted people of color, according to Pew Research. As of today, police have killed 826 people in this year alone. About 28% of those people were black notwithstanding that they only make up 13% of our population according to Mapping Police Violence. Black people are not only more likely to die by police, but they are also more likely to have more force used against them and are disproportionately overly policed and sent to jail according to the Prison Policy Initiative.

 As a white woman learning about this information, I felt I needed to use the privilege I have to share what is going on in hopes that others can see the immorality of this as well. Many of my classmates, friends, neighbors and family members fear this situation daily. When a citizen commits a crime, it’s illegal, but when an officer does it, it’s justified. This is why police officers are able to get off on these crimes time and time again because their actions don’t lead to consequences. 

Taylors name is tragically one of many non-white Americans that have been murdered by police officers. I could list off hundreds of names of men and women that have not received justice or even media coverage. This is why I will continue to support the Black Lives Matter movement and use my platform to demand change.