|Email Ken Stallings||Of Tragedy and Professionalism|
In an era where a lot of focus is rightfully on multiple State Attorneys General who've allowed their professional actions to become influenced by politics and fear, it is noteworthy when an AG stands courageous and resolute to his professional duties. Perhaps it is sad that one feels inclined to call out an AG for these moral characteristics, because all AG's should hold them.
But, Attorney General Daniel Cameron said some very intelligent and moral things at a Wednesday press conference in Louisville, Kentucky. He was ultimately responsible for seeing that justice was adhered to in the criminal investigation against three police officers for the shooting death of Breonna Taylor. Surrounded by evil opportunism arising from criminal suspects resisting arrest, and seeing the police use force against them, the situation for Taylor was entirely different -- a human tragedy of terrible consequences.
"The decision before my office as the special prosecutor, in this case, was not to decide if the loss of Ms. Taylor's life was a tragedy. The answer to that is unequivocally, 'yes.' I understand that Breonna Taylor's death is part of a national story, but the facts and the evidence in this case are different than others. If we simply act on emotion or outrage, there is no justice. Mob justice is not justice. Justice sought by violence is not justice, it just becomes revenge." -- Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron
Three Louisville police officers executed a legal no-knock raid on Taylor's apartment. Whether an administrative error, or based upon faulty information, the three officers raided the address listed on the warrant. The problem is that the suspect named in the warrant did not live at the listed apartment. The two people living in the apartment were Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend.
Witnesses say the police announced that they were police at the time they busted down the door. However, Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, stated that he thought criminals were breaking into their apartment and obtained his gun and used it in self-defense. In the darkness, Walker did not recognize the intruders as police officers. He shot one of the officers, and the other officers immediately returned fire. In the crossfire, Breonna Taylor was shot eight times and died. She was an EMT, and a woman of high character and integrity.
Walker was initially charged with attempted murder on the police officers, but upon initial investigation all of the charges against him were dropped.
In today's press conference, it was announced that one of the three officers will be charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree, a class D felony charge. The true bills were rendered because the grand jury believed that the officer was negligent in firing multiple shots that penetrated through Taylor's apartment wall and entered an adjoining apartment occupied by a man and a pregnant woman. The Louisville police department had earlier terminated the officer, Brett Hankison.
The remarkable part of the story, is that the criminal investigation was handled entirely professionally and in strict accordance with the law. This was despite an initial wave of violent mob protests throughout Louisville, and the likelihood that more such violence will now take place.
AG Cameron tried his best to explain the situation, the law, and the duty to justice, saying, "The decision before my office as the special prosecutor, in this case, was not to decide if the loss of Ms. Taylor's life was a tragedy. The answer to that is unequivocally, 'yes.'" Cameron continued, saying, "I understand that Breonna Taylor's death is part of a national story, but the facts and the evidence in this case are different than others. If we simply act on emotion or outrage, there is no justice. Mob justice is not justice. Justice sought by violence is not justice, it just becomes revenge."
The other two police officers will not be charged, and frankly, how could they be? The situation from their point of view is that they legally executed a no-knock warrant issued by a court. In the process of serving that warrant, they were shot at by someone in the apartment, and one of the two officers was hit and lay wounded on the floor. It was a clear case justified use of deadly force in self-defense. No one can offer a cogent argument against that fact, and certainly not a legal argument.
The only reason the third officer was charged is because in returning fire, he failed to aim at a target, and allowed his shooting to recklessly endanger the lives of innocent bystanders. Time will detemine if the officer is convicted, and if convicted what sentence, if any, he shall receive. An honest mistake was made, an innocent woman was killed, other bystanders were given a harrowing experience, an innocent cop was shot and seriously wounded, another cop is now charged with a crime, and the entire community is rightfully alarmed. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is trying to get through the US Congress a bill that if signed into law would outlaw no-knock search warrants.
The Democrats are holding up that legislation, because they believe in the adage of never letting a tragedy go to waste. For them, the life of Breonna Taylor is little more than a political opportunity, and the welfare of the three cops are nothing more than sacrificing pawns on a chess board. It's all the same perverted attempt to power monger, using any and all opportunities, regardless of context, to advance rancid narratives to inflame tensions. The Dems think they can play with political matches and achieve great benefit from the recklessness. That truth alone ought to encourage good citizens withholding their votes from all Democrats until that party shows it can act with maturity and statesmanship once again.
For its part, the city of Louisville has already ended the no-knock warrant process. That's the only responsible remedy in response to this tragedy. The criminal investigation was carried out with integrity, fully in accordance with the law. That may not satisfy the mob, but we need to stop trying to reason with such people. A lot of public officials and citizens also need a primer course on responsible citizenship. There is no lack of those wanting to tear at the fabric of our society, and there appears to be too few in elected office possessing the courage to perform their sworn duties under duress.
AG Cameron did that, and his example is noteworthy. Sadly, his example will be drowned out by the predictable crowing of the media, and the rehearsed faux outrage by the political class. Those two institutions shall no doubt encourage more foot soldiers to sacrifice themselves, and a great number of innocent people, in the hellspawn of violence in Louisville. Still, what this Attorney General did was correct, and it shouldn't be ignored.
-- Ken Stallings
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