Friday, July 02, 2021

Breonna Taylor Cover-Up Is a National Scandal

Lies in Louisville: Breonna Taylor Cover-Up Is a National Scandal Hidden in Plain Sight

“How are you going to honor a person you haven’t given them justice?,” Tahasha Holloway, one of Breonna Taylor’s aunts, tells Status Coup during interview in Louisville Kentucky

Full story with videos at Status Coup

A year after Breonna Taylor was murdered, a cover-up spearheaded by an unholy alliance between the Louisville Police Department and city and state politicians continues to deprive Taylor’s family of justice.

A family that is unrelenting in its quest to expose the truth.

They lied and that lie blew up humongously in their faces,” Tahasha Holloway, one of Taylor’s aunts, told Status Coup during a recent interview in Louisville.

The lies told by Louisville PD started before Taylor’s March 2020 murder. The search warrant for Taylor’s apartment said the police were investigating two men allegedly selling drugs out of a home far from her residence. But police claimed they wanted to search Taylor’s apartment because they believed one of those alleged drug dealers, Jamarcus Glover—who was Taylor’s ex-boyfriend—had been receiving packages containing drugs at her apartment.

In reality, the police were in bed with city government and real estate developers who wanted to gentrify Glover’s impoverished Louisville neighborhood; in this case, seizing all of the homes on Glover’s block. But Glover’s house was the lone one left that the city couldn’t get its hands on.

That’s where police, who were suspiciously communicating with officials in Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s office about Glover allegedly dealing drugs, dragged Breonna Taylor into the equation—ultimately leading to her death.

While surveilling Glover, police saw him leaving Taylor’s apartment with a package. As a result, Louisville police fed a judge a false story of Glover receiving drugs at Taylor’s apartment as justification for getting the judge to sign a no-knock warrant on Taylor’s home.

The lies continued regarding the night Taylor was killed.

After fatally shooting Taylor, the three main officers involved, Sgt. Jon Mattingly, Detective Myles Cosgrove, and Detective Brett Hankison, claimed to have announced themselves as police before storming into Taylor’s apartment. But Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend who shot at the officers thinking they were intruders, and 12 of Taylor’s neighbors said they heard no announcement from police. On the opposite end, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron—a close ally of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell—cited just one neighbor who heard police announce themselves at Taylor’s door. Cameron also left out the extremely relevant detail that the neighbor originally told police he didn’t hear anything before police brought him back months later and his story magically changed.

If this isn’t enough for you to scream cover-up, Taylor’s aunts revealed police lied when they initially told the family no body cameras were available from the raid of Taylor’s apartment or of officers fatally shooting her.

“Sam [Aguiar] got evidence of like over 30 body cameras from different officers of footage from what happened that night,” Bianca Austin, one of Taylor’s aunts, told Status Coup about the Taylor family attorney obtaining evidence of the body cameras.

Following Taylor’s murder, the lies kept rolling as Lousiville PD claimed that the city’s postal inspector had confirmed with them that Glover had received packages at Taylor’s apartment. This was a blatant lie; on May 15th, 2020, Tony Gooden, Louisville’s postal inspector, said that his office had no involvement with investigating whether packages of drugs were sent to Taylor’s home. 

Louisville’s top politicians also seem involved in the cover-up. Taylor family attorney Sam Aguilar and VICE News found that the same task force involved with trying to seize Glover’s home in the impoverished west side of Louisville was in communication with city officials about redeveloping the block as part of Vision Russel, a public-private project spun as “urban development” by the city.

But, like happening across America, the reality is the redevelopment was really a gentrification scheme to demolish low-income housing so that more wealthy white families can move in, raise the cost of living, and whitewash majority minority neighborhoods. 

Bigger picture, the grand jury that determined the fate of the three key Louisville PD officers responsible for Taylor’s murder worked within a legal system that historically favors white oppressors while denying minorities their rights. This corrupt system allowed for just one of the three officers to be charged—insultingly not for Taylor’s death, but for the stray bullets that ricocheted into her white neighbors’ homes. The blowback was swift, leading Kentucky Attorney General Cameron to release 20 hours of recordings from the three-day grand jury deliberations.

“I’m confident that once the public listens to the recordings, they will see that our team presented a thorough case to the Jefferson County Grand Jury,” Cameron said about the recordings. 

This is false.

An attorney for an anonymous grand juror revealed that the jury was never presented any option to charge the officers criminally with Taylor’s murder. Instead they were provided with evidence to charge detective officer Brett Hankison with three counts of wanton endangerment for the stray bullets that hit Taylor’s white neighbors’ apartment. Hankison faces a wide range of outcomes; if convicted, he could serve a minimum of one year and a maximum of 15 years in prison. 

The web of lies between Louisville PD and city officials have allowed the officers who shot and killed Taylor to remain free without legal repercussions. The lies and cover-up reveal the ugly truth: we live in a country whose systems and power structures favor police who routinely break and bend the law they are supposed to be following and enforcing. The people that are subject to the law, like Breonna Taylor, don’t get their life and rights; they get killed by the very people meant to protect them.

Eventually, they are then forgotten by members of the Democratic Party that constantly leverage #BlackLivesMatter for woke virtue signaling—yet make no serious effort to change the laws that allow corrupt police to break the law and assassinate Black people. Beyond the Democrats, like many slain Black people before her, corporate media largely stopped covering, or investigating, the cover-up behind Taylor’s death long ago.

Unlike other outlets, Status Coup has reported on-the-ground in Louisville twice since her murder; both times long after the corporate media cameras left. 

“How are you going to honor a person if you haven’t given them justice?” Tahasha Hollaway, one of Taylor’s aunts, asked Status Coup in reference to the signs and memorials that drape Louisville streets but, ultimately, offer nothing more than a false sense of justice. 

Hollaway is right: “honoring” someone who was murdered means nothing when justice hasn’t been served.

Our divided country and corrupt systems allows for the endless murder of Taylor, George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Jordan Davis, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Jordan Davis, Daunte Wright, Andrew Brown, and a tragically long list of other Black men and women.

At protests across the country, people chant, “Say their name!”, so that these injustices are never forgotten. After all, if the media allows the names of assassinated Black men and women to disappear into the abyss, police will only be emboldened further to shoot first and ask questions later.

-Christian Maitre