Breonna Taylor’s murder case plays a significant role in the modern justice system. Police shooting cases gained relevance as they frequently appear to be controversial and judicial decisions regarding such cases often cause public outcries. Public opinion promotes the existence of bias in police use of weapons. According to relatively recent research, there is no biased attitude seen in some of these cases (Worrall et al., 2018). However, there is great tension in society as more and more people are concerned about the issue and outraged by court decisions.
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On March 13, 2020, police in Louisville arrested Jamarcus Glover, suspected of drug distribution. After the capture of Jamarcus Glover, police started an operation to search potential sets of crimes related to drug dealing. Breonna Taylor’s apartment was one of these places due to her relationship with the accused. According to some media sources, Taylor’s boyfriend, Mr. Walker, fired his gun, thinking that her ex-boyfriend broke in. Three officers returned the fire, which leads to shooting Taylor and her death.
The prosecution process is considered to be as controversial as the shooting. Police officers were not wearing body cameras as they were plainclothes narcotics officers. Therefore, there is no video evidence of what happened in the apartment. Even though there are many who demand to “arrest the officers for killing Breonna Taylor,” the court’s decision is different. Brett Hankinson was indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment as some of the shot bullets threatened the lives of Taylor’s neighbors in nearby apartments. Two other officers involved in the case were not charged.
The same self-defense laws apply to ordinary citizens and police officers. In Breonna Taylor’s case, her boyfriend Walker shot first as he mistook police officers with intruders. Self-defense laws could also be applied to Walker’s actions if police actions were interpreted as aggressive. However, in most cases, officers conducting acts in their official capacity cannot be viewed as aggressors. Therefore self-defense laws may be used in regard to returned fire. Even though the case may be evaluated to be terrific, inhumane, and unnecessary, police officers acted in accordance with the law.
Current Case Status
Most recent news related to Breonna Taylor’s case is not linked with legislation and court decisions. The case appears to be closed, and no further charges are applied to officers involved in killing Taylor. Nevertheless, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was found not guilty (Olla, 2021). Breonna Taylor’s case was carried out to stimulate a wave of public outrage regarding police violence and bias. Numerous protests took place all over the country demanding punishment for Taylor’s killers. These consequences may lead to a fundamental transformation in the judicial system and police activity framework in the future.
Breonna Taylor’s case is highly controversial and ambiguous. Some people believe that the court’s decision was fair, and many others strongly disagree. The case certainly provided energy for protests and public outcries. Even though the court’s decision may be considered to be conducted in conformity with the law, it may be necessary to determine if there is bias in police actions and racism related to the issue. Several lawsuits were submitted against Louisville Metro Police Department, including the American Civil Liberties Union’s lawsuit. ACLU claimed that LMPD conducted inhumane actions during the protests linked with Taylor’s case (Kentucky, 2020). Kenneth Walker also filed a lawsuit against LMPD for violating Fourth Amendment during the search in 2020. Conclusively, rising public indignation and increasing numbers of victims demand greater attention to the emerging issue.
Kentucky. (2020). Lawsuit Says LMPD Used “Shocking and Violent Force” Against Protesters. ACLU Files Lawsuit Against LMPD’s Actions to Protesters. Web.
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Olla, A. (2021). Breonna Taylor died more than a year ago. But US policing has barely changed. The Guardian. Web.
Worrall, J. L., Bishopp, S. A., Zinser, S. C., Wheeler, A. P., & Phillips, S. W. (2018). Exploring Bias in Police Shooting Decisions With Real Shoot/Don’t Shoot Cases. Crime & Delinquency, 64(9), 1171–1192. Web.