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  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...reonna-taylor/

    This sums up my feelings fairly well.
    I gotta little bit of smoke and a whole lotta wine...

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Swansong View Post
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...reonna-taylor/

      This sums up my feelings fairly well.
      Just because you pay for that partisan rag, you shouldn't assume everyone else does (i.e. paywall).

      My expectations are low, but my mind is always open to a slight chance of an insightful take ...
      Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
      Montreal Expos Forever ...

      Comment


      • Very insightful Chuck. Thanks for sharing...

        Comment


        • I'll help Chuckles out:

          Correcting the misinformation about Breonna Taylor https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...reonna-taylor/

          “This was not a no-knock warrant.”

          It absolutely was...The police claim they were told after the fact to disregard the no-knock portion and instead knock and announce themselves, because, by that point, someone had determined that Taylor was a “soft target” — not a threat, and not a major player in the drug investigation. But there are problems with this account. If Taylor was a “soft target,” why not surround the house, get on a megaphone, and ask her to come out with her hands up? Why still take down her door with a battering ram? Why still serve the warrant in the middle of the night?

          “The police knocked and announced themselves, and a witness heard them.”

          In what was probably the most frustrating part of Cameron’s press event, he cited a single witness who claimed to have heard the officers identify themselves as police. According to the lawyers, no neighbor heard an announcement. The New York Times interviewed 12 neighbors. They found one who heard an announcement. He also told the paper that with all the commotion, it’s entirely possible that Walker and Taylor didn’t hear that announcement. Cameron neglected to mention any of this.

          Moreover, in a CNN interview Wednesday night, Walker’s attorney, Steven Romines, said the witness to whom Cameron was referring initially said he did not hear the police announce themselves. And he repeated that assertion in a second interview. It was only after his third interview that he finally said he heard an announcement. That’s critical context that Cameron neglected to mention.

          “Even Kenneth Walker has admitted that the police pounded on the door for 30 to 45 seconds. Therefore, by definition, this was not a ’no-knock’ raid.”

          With a few exceptions, when conducting a raid, government agents must knock and announce their presence and purpose, and give anyone inside the opportunity to let the officers in peacefully — thus avoiding violence to their person and destruction of their property. If the police simply pounded on the door for 45 seconds and never appropriately announced themselves, that’s even worse than not knocking at all. It likely made Walker even more fearful that the people outside the door were there to do harm to him and Taylor.

          “If the police say they announced themselves, and one neighbor heard it, then they probably did. So what if the other neighbors didn’t hear it? They were probably asleep.”

          The entire purpose of the knock-and-announce requirement is to provide ample notice to the people inside the home the police are trying to enter. If the police didn’t yell loudly and clearly who they were — loud enough for the people inside to hear — the knock-and-announce portion is rendered meaningless, and the entire action becomes no different than a no-knock raid. As the Times reported, the officers on this raid were trained by a man who, oddly enough, is now president of the Louisville city council. “During his 19-year career as a police officer, he had instructed recruits at the local training academy about ‘dynamic entry.‘ Especially when executing a warrant at night,” he told the paper, “he told them to yell ‘police’ at the top of their lungs, specifically so that occupants would not mistake them for an intruder.” That clearly did not happen here.

          “The judge who signed the warrant is not to blame.”

          Here’s what we can say: The portion of the warrant affidavit that requested a no-knock raid was the exact same language used in the other four warrants. It stated that drug dealers are dangerous and might dispose of evidence if police knock and announce. It contained no particularized information as to why Taylor herself was dangerous or presented such a threat. And that, according to the Supreme Court, is not sufficient to grant a no-knock warrant. Yet Shaw granted it anyway. Perhaps she provided more scrutiny to the other parts of the affidavit. But she did not ask for more evidence in the no-knock portion. And she should have.

          “If Kenneth Walker hadn’t shot at the cops, Breonna Taylor would still be alive.”

          If Walker reasonably believed that the men breaking into the apartment were not police, he had every right to defend himself and Taylor. There is every reason to believe Walker did not know the men outside the door were police. Walker is not a criminal. There were no drugs in the house. You don’t need a license to have a gun in a private home in Kentucky, but Walker had gone the extra step to obtain a concealed carry license. (Kentucky changed its law in 2019, and no longer requires a license for concealed carry either.) That isn’t something hardened criminals hellbent on killing cops tend to do. Neither is calling 911, which Walker also did after the shooting. Moreover, Walker knew about Taylor’s past involvement with the drug dealer Glover — and that Glover wasn’t happy about Taylor seeing Walker. He has said he feared that it was Glover or his associates outside the door. That too seems entirely reasonable.

          “This is just an all-around tragedy. We shouldn’t focus on who to blame, whether its police, prosecutors, Walker or Taylor.”

          The most serious questions here concern the investigation itself, and why these officers were asked to serve a warrant on Taylor’s home in the first place. There’s the lie about the postal inspector. There is the fact that despite the surveillance on Taylor’s home, the police didn’t know there was another person inside. There are the police bullets that were inadvertently fired into surrounding apartments. There’s the cut-and-paste language used to secure the no-knock portion of the warrant. There’s also the fact that the officer who procured the warrant was not part of the raid team. There’s the fact that five officers involved in the Taylor raid were involved in another violent, botched raid on an innocent family in 2018.

          And there’s the 2015 study by criminologist Bryan Patrick Schaefer, who was allowed to embed himself with the Louisville police department. As Schaffer wrote, “Of the 73 search warrant entries observed, every entry involved using a ram to break the door down. Further, the detectives announce their presence and purpose in conjunction with the first hit on the door. A detective explained, ‘As long as we announce our presence, we are good. We don’t want to give them any time to destroy evidence or grab a weapon, so we go fast and get through the door quick.‘”

          Schaefer added that in the raids he observed, the difference between how police served a no-knock warrant and a knock-and-announce warrant was “minimal in practice.”

          Schaeffer also found that for warrant service, Louisville police fill out a “risk matrix” to determine whether to bring in a SWAT team. A case has to meet a minimum score before determining whether SWAT will be used. The other raids done in conjunction with the Glover investigation did use SWAT, which also means police ensure there are ambulances and medical personnel nearby. I happen to think SWAT teams are overutilized. But if you are going to break into someone’s house, a well-trained, full-time SWAT team is far preferable to a bunch of cops in street clothes kicking down a door.

          The irony here is that Taylor was not deemed threatening enough to merit a SWAT team. Instead, she was subjected to all of the most dangerous aspects of a SWAT raid, undertaken by officers in street clothes. There were no medics nearby. In fact, an ambulance on standby was told to leave the scene an hour before the raid. After she was shot, Taylor lie in her house for 20 minutes before receiving any medical attention.

          And there are more questions:

          — Why serve a warrant in the middle of the night on a witness tangential to an investigation?

          — Why did the police alter the times on their reports?

          — The most recent activity involving Taylor on the search warrants was in January. Why wait until March to serve the warrant on her apartment?

          — Why didn’t police do any further investigation to better establish how involved in the drug conspiracy Taylor really was?

          To simply blow this off as a tragedy for which no one is to blame is an insult to the life and legacy of Taylor, but also to the dozens of innocent people who have been gunned down in their own homes before her. And the effort by Cameron and others to make all of this go away by feeding the public half-truths that blame the victims in this story — Taylor and Walker — for Taylor’s death is inexcusable.

          Comment


          • Thank you for sharing, sincerely. I've seen both sides of the "fact checking" (another version is linked just below here), and virtually all of what the Post has to say can be boiled down to second-guessing and opinions. A lot of them probably led to the multi-million dollar settlement of the Taylor family's civil lawsuit against the LPD.

            https://www.wisconsinrightnow.com/20...ts-myths-lies/

            But we're now discussing a potential criminal case, and I'll assume (most probably naively) that you folks understand the differences between civil and criminal law. And that case probably boils down to one very simple, straightforward issue.

            Originally posted by Slap Shot View Post
            “If Kenneth Walker hadn’t shot at the cops, Breonna Taylor would still be alive.”

            If Walker reasonably believed that the men breaking into the apartment were not police, he had every right to defend himself and Taylor. There is every reason to believe Walker did not know the men outside the door were police. Walker is not a criminal. There were no drugs in the house. You don't need a license to have a gun in a private home in Kentucky, but Walker had gone the extra step to obtain a concealed carry license. (Kentucky changed its law in 2019, and no longer requires a license for concealed carry either.) That isn't something hardened criminals hellbent on killing cops tend to do. Neither is calling 911, which Walker also did after the shooting. Moreover, Walker knew about Taylor's past involvement with the drug dealer Glover and that Glover wasn't happy about Taylor seeing Walker. He has said he feared that it was Glover or his associates outside the door. That too seems entirely reasonable.
            That's a HUGE amount of excuse-making for Walker's actions. At the end of the day, no one disagrees that Walker fired the first shot. And as soon as Walker shot at and struck one of the officers, that set off the chain of events that led to Taylor's shooting. Once you shoot at officers, they don't have time (or a realistic obligation) to wait to ask "Mother may I?" before they take action. They have to take action. The pity here is Taylor ended up dead, when it was Walker who set things off.

            There is nothing "entirely reasonable" about shooting at a police officer. Nothing.

            Full disclosure - one of my best friends was a police officer who was gunned down in cold blood upon entering into a private residence in response to a domestic violence report, a little over 5 years ago. Never had a chance - total ambush. It was one of the most notorious cases in the history of our state, and the aftermath of the subsequent stand-off was broadcast live on statewide TV. By the time things had hit the tube live, my network of friends had shared enough information with me, so we deduced my friend was the officer who initially responded to the call. Then we saw the by-then-burning residence explode, on live TV. The only "good news" that emerged later on was that my friend was dead before the fire, and before the explosion.

            This was a guy who lived an exemplary life. Married, two kids, full-time job at a lumber supply yard, part-time handyman and a part-time police officer, just trying to save up enough money so his kids could go to college. I didn't even know he was working for the police until a few weeks before the inicident. He coached two sports, one as an assistant for me, and less than 48 hours after I'd last been on the sidelines with him (and his youngest kid) was when the tragic events unfolded.

            To say this event and the circumstances were surreal would be a drastic understatement. I hope none of you ever have to experience something like it. But please realize, police officers do one of - if not the - toughest jobs out there, and they're not getting rich by doing it. They are asked to deal with many of the crappiest situations our society experiences. And sometimes they don't get a whole lot of time to assess their options for action, and need to react quickly. To judge them using slow motion and second-guessing is patently unfair, and frankly distasteful stuff. I hope you all can see that much.

            I'll leave it at that.
            Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
            Montreal Expos Forever ...

            Comment


            • I think the Taylor case is a classic example of violation of the most fundamental rule involving use of a firearm. You must be able to both see and know precisely what your target is. It is the rule that is stressed first, and foremost, in every gun safety class I've ever taken.

              I don't give Walker a pass just because he had a conceal/carry permit (that only means he was licensed to have the weapon, and I don't think that's ever been an issue). I also don't give him a pass because of the "castle doctrine," although candidly I don't know what the castle doctrine says, precisely, in Kentucky. The castle doctrine does not give you license to shoot police just because you are in your home.

              Walker was undoubtedly scared and startled by cops busting down his door in the middle of the night. But he doesn't get to just start blindly shooting, and as I understand it the cops were wearing vests that said "police" on them. Before firing, he must be able to both see and recognize his target.

              But the same fundamental rule applies to cops. I don't believe they have a right, even when fired upon, to just start blindly shooting their weapons into a home or apartment. They have every right to shoot at the guy who is shooting at them, but not the right to blindly shoot up the house like it's a movie. You must see and recognize your target.

              Just my two cents.
              That community is already in the process of dissolution where each man begins to eye his neighbor as a possible enemy, where non-conformity with the accepted creed, political as well as religious, is a mark of disaffection; where denunciation, without specification or backing, takes the place of evidence; where orthodoxy chokes freedom of dissent; where faith in the eventual supremacy of reason has become so timid that we dare not enter our convictions in the open lists, to win or lose.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by SJHovey View Post
                I think the Taylor case is a classic example of violation of the most fundamental rule involving use of a firearm. You must be able to both see and know precisely what your target is. It is the rule that is stressed first, and foremost, in every gun safety class I've ever taken.

                I don't give Walker a pass just because he had a conceal/carry permit (that only means he was licensed to have the weapon, and I don't think that's ever been an issue). I also don't give him a pass because of the "castle doctrine," although candidly I don't know what the castle doctrine says, precisely, in Kentucky. The castle doctrine does not give you license to shoot police just because you are in your home.

                Walker was undoubtedly scared and startled by cops busting down his door in the middle of the night. But he doesn't get to just start blindly shooting, and as I understand it the cops were wearing vests that said "police" on them. Before firing, he must be able to both see and recognize his target.

                But the same fundamental rule applies to cops. I don't believe they have a right, even when fired upon, to just start blindly shooting their weapons into a home or apartment. They have every right to shoot at the guy who is shooting at them, but not the right to blindly shoot up the house like it's a movie. You must see and recognize your target.

                Just my two cents.
                This is a great post, all the way through.
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                • Originally posted by SJHovey View Post
                  But the same fundamental rule applies to cops. I don't believe they have a right, even when fired upon, to just start blindly shooting their weapons into a home or apartment. They have every right to shoot at the guy who is shooting at them, but not the right to blindly shoot up the house like it's a movie. You must see and recognize your target.
                  Despite this being a responsible approach (depending on the circumstances) in today's United States it is not followed very often. Police have become far too quick to discharge a firearm in cases where it might not have been necessary or even reasonable. Middle-of-the-night, no-knock warrants make this even worse. They are already operating on heightened adrenaline, they have been trained to suspect everyone and are prepared to use violence to begin with, you add in all the uncertainty that comes with busting into a house not knowing who or what they will be confronted with is just asking for shots to be fired. By all sides.

                  The way these kinds of things will end is to hold law enforcement officers to the exact same standards we'd hold anyone else to when shots are fired. No qualified immunity, no spurious "reasonable fear for my safety" arguments. If you fire a weapon, you better be able to clearly show you are living on the right side of the law, AND had a reasonable belief to think your life was in danger.

                  Comment


                  • Even with all of that...the cops letting her lay there dying for 20 minutes and then lying on the police reports is just as bad if not worse. Not to mention why did they turn their bodycams off? That stinks of knowing they were doing something shady and them knowing they screwed up. Hell a few of these cops have done the same thing before and are getting sued for it. (thankfully they didn't kill anyone just gave some children PTSD)

                    See I think for a lot of us we understand that in the heat of the moment mistakes will happen. (we can discuss how it seems those mistakes happen disproportionately towards specific groups another time) The actions before and after though are what gives us pause. It isnt just the act it is how you react. These cops obviously had no respect for life because they did nothing during the raid or after to save her. Even if she was the criminal they lied about on the warrants she doesn't deserve capital punishment. They didn't even try though. A truly "Good Cop" would have been on the radio two seconds after they realized what happened screaming for a medic not coordinating ways they can make this sound like no big deal while she bleeds out.

                    Just my $.02...worth less with inflation.
                    Last edited by Handyman; 09-28-2020, 11:39 AM.
                    "It's as if the Drumpf Administration is made up of the worst and unfunny parts of the Cleveland Browns, Washington Generals, and the alien Mon-Stars from Space Jam."
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                    • Originally posted by WeAreNDHockey View Post

                      Despite this being a responsible approach (depending on the circumstances) in today's United States it is not followed very often. Police have become far too quick to discharge a firearm in cases where it might not have been necessary or even reasonable. Middle-of-the-night, no-knock warrants make this even worse. They are already operating on heightened adrenaline, they have been trained to suspect everyone and are prepared to use violence to begin with, you add in all the uncertainty that comes with busting into a house not knowing who or what they will be confronted with is just asking for shots to be fired. By all sides.

                      The way these kinds of things will end is to hold law enforcement officers to the exact same standards we'd hold anyone else to when shots are fired. No qualified immunity, no spurious "reasonable fear for my safety" arguments. If you fire a weapon, you better be able to clearly show you are living on the right side of the law, AND had a reasonable belief to think your life was in danger.
                      Yes. If anything cops should be held to a much higher standard than the average citizen because they are trained and given the ability to take away our liberties. Instead though we hold them to about the lowest standard possible. It is bass akwards.
                      "It's as if the Drumpf Administration is made up of the worst and unfunny parts of the Cleveland Browns, Washington Generals, and the alien Mon-Stars from Space Jam."
                      -aparch

                      "Scenes in "Empire Strikes Back" that take place on the tundra planet Hoth were shot on the present-day site of Ralph Engelstad Arena."
                      -INCH

                      Of course I'm a fan of the Vikings. A sick and demented Masochist of a fan, but a fan none the less.
                      -ScoobyDoo 12/17/2007

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by WeAreNDHockey View Post
                        The way these kinds of things will end is to hold law enforcement officers to the exact same standards we'd hold anyone else to when shots are fired. No qualified immunity, no spurious "reasonable fear for my safety" arguments. If you fire a weapon, you better be able to clearly show you are living on the right side of the law, AND had a reasonable belief to think your life was in danger.
                        This. There is zero accountability for cowboy cops right now. Might as well shoot 'em up and deal with it later, because very few DAs will have the balls to hold you truly accountable for maiming or killing anyone as long as you're wearing your little tin star.

                        Comment


                        • Yup.

                          https://mobile.twitter.com/Rschooley...27320051326976

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                          • Originally posted by Handyman View Post

                            Yes. If anything cops should be held to a much higher standard than the average citizen because they are trained and given the ability to take away our liberties. Instead though we hold them to about the lowest standard possible. It is bass akwards.
                            Completely backwards. For years cops wanted to have their jobs considered a "profession" yet they never seem to want to be held to professional and ethical standards that plenty of other professions expect people to adhere to. If that ever changes (and they abolish police unions) I might start to rediscover the respect I used to have for cops. I know my idiotic rhetoric here doesn't make it seem possible, but I used to be a fairly vocal cop supporter. They changed for the most part, I didn't.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Deutsche Gopher Fan View Post
                              I will never understand the gun fondlers and ammosexuals of the world who need to stockpile so many firearms. Unless they are collectibles and antiques. Do you really need 10 or 20 different kind of guns to hunt with? Growing up my household had 2 long guns, a muzzle loader my dad hunted with near home, and a common 30-06 rifle he deer-hunted with in northern Michigan. I'm not a hunter, so maybe there is a logical answer to hunters owning so many different kinds of firearms.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by WeAreNDHockey View Post

                                I will never understand the gun fondlers and ammosexuals of the world who need to stockpile so many firearms. Unless they are collectibles and antiques. Do you really need 10 or 20 different kind of guns to hunt with? Growing up my household had 2 long guns, a muzzle loader my dad hunted with near home, and a common 30-06 rifle he deer-hunted with in northern Michigan. I'm not a hunter, so maybe there is a logical answer to hunters owning so many different kinds of firearms.
                                When you're huntin' ni&&ers, you do.
                                What kind of cheese are you planning to put on top?

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