Breonna Taylor — a 26-year-old Black emergency medical technician shot five times by police in Louisville, Ky., when they entered her apartment March 13 during a drug investigation — didn’t deserve to die. But the American people deserve the facts about her tragic death.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron delivered those facts at a news conference Wednesday, subject to limitations required by law in a case being prosecuted, and drew criticism for not filing charges against police officers for Taylor’s death.
Cameron announced that a grand jury determined that two police officers were justified in firing their guns because Taylor’s boyfriend shot at them first after officers used a battering ram to force their way into her apartment.
Fired former Sgt. Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots that entered a neighboring apartment. A judge set his bail at $15,000 and he was released from jail after posting bond.
Predictably, the decision not to charge officers in the shooting of Breonna Taylor made those intent on using Black pain to exploit a political agenda very upset, and they responded with racially charged attacks on Cameron, a Black Republican who can count President Donald Trump as a high-profile and vocal fan.
Protests erupted in Louisville Wednesday night. Two police officers were shot in the city, authorities said, and were hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening. One officer had to undergo surgery. Police said a suspect in the shooting of the officers was in custody.
On MSNBC, retired African American Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Cheryl Dorsey criticized Cameron for not filing additional charges against officers: "Let me say this as a Black woman … he does not speak for Black folks. He's skinfolk but not, he is not kinfolk. ... He does not speak for all of us. This was not a tragedy, this was a murder. He should be ashamed of himself."
Louisville attorney Dawn Elliot, who is also Black, said earlier that Cameron needs to stop “eating the coon flakes the White House is serving” and criticized him for supporting President Trump. That’s a slur of against Black conservatives, like calling us “Uncle Toms.” She said Wednesday that she still holds the same opinion of him.
The fact that Cameron is being subjected to racial attacks from the Black left that advocates for racial justice and societal upheaval from the safety and comfort of luxury apartments and TV news sets is nothing new. Any Black person in the public eye who doesn't submit to the Black Lives Matter narrative and instead focuses on facts and reason will be subject to such racial attacks. It comes with the territory.
The usual litany of Hollywood celebrities and athletes came out against the ruling in Taylor’s death — a development Cameron predicted at his news conference hours earlier.
“There will be celebrities, influencers and activists who try to tell us how to feel, suggesting they understand the facts of this case, and that they know our community better than we do, but they do not,” Cameron said.
Daniel Cameron did a phenomenal job at this news conference. He was poised and his comments were fact-based and compassionate in what had to be a very difficult moment.
Cameron’s investigation found that officers did in fact identify themselves, which is the exact opposite of the “no-knock warrant” media narrative. The narrative was so pervasive that Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. — an outspoken supporter of criminal justice reform — introduced the “Justice For Breonna Taylor” Act seeking to prohibit no-knock warrants.
We must not allow our country to be dictated to by the whims of the left-wing media and mob rule.
That the independent investigation overseen by Cameron disproved that narrative is unfortunately beside the point. In our post-truth era, people have already decided what they want to believe, regardless of the facts, including this narrative: Police officers are evil. Black people are constantly hunted by evil White cops. The system is unjust. In the words of MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson, it is “made to protect white violence.”
Any reading of the Breonna Taylor case or others like it that deviates at all from this preordained narrative is deemed as “racist.” When an African American doesn’t accept this left-wing narrative, he or she is accused of a rejection of Blackness — as if calmly making judgments based on facts and reason is somehow exclusively the domain of Whites.
It's sad that Blacks on the left seek to force, bully and shame other Blacks to operate in emotion and fear. It’s sad that we can’t all collectively grieve for another Black life lost without running away totally from facts and reason. It’s sad that so many prominent African American leaders wholly endorse and promote the kind of reckless emotion that has caused so much pain and destruction of our cities over the past few months.
This is an emotional moment, but we must not let our emotions get in the way of facts, and we must not let preconceived narratives influence rash decisions. We must not allow our country to be dictated to by the whims of the left-wing media and mob rule.
There are activists in many places right now who do not want racial reconciliation. They do not want the police reforms they claim to favor. They want nothing but chaos and destruction, and they will continue to manipulate the emotions of Black people to do this.
Breonna Taylor’s death is a tragedy, but we must not let the whims of a liberal media narrative, celebrities who exploit tragedy for attention, and groups that seek to tear America down force us to abandon our capacity for reason. We must not let these groups foment a distrust of any African American who seeks reason before anger and facts before destruction.
Let’s use this moment not to be at each other’s throats, but to come together to find ways to achieve needed change based on facts and reason.