Body Cam Shows Breonna Taylor Dead in Apartment, Cops Saying ‘She’s Done’
The body of Breonna Taylor was motionless in her apartment for a number of minutes as a SWAT team went through her apartment, then checked her pulse… before saying “She’s done.”
Police in Louisville just released bodycam footage from a few SWAT cops who entered the house after the raid and gunfight that took Breonna’s life and injured officer Jonathan Mattingly. The video shows an inside look of Breona’s apartment right after the deadly showdown took place.
As SWAT personnel was getting ready to make an entry, one cop can be heard saying, “The female is supposedly the one that’s shot”. Breonna’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had already walked out and given himself up.
JUST RELEASED: New bodycam footage shows SWAT team inside Breonna Taylor's apartment AFTER the fatal shooting. It clearly shows they cared more about searching the apartment than trying to save Bre's life! pic.twitter.com/1BE8eqcL0A
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) October 8, 2020
As he was entering the place, cops called out that Breonna was laying at the end of the hallway, but SWAT spent a few more minutes looking through other areas of the apartment before asking Breonna, “Ma’am, can you hear us?”
One cop told another to check Breonna’s pulse. Unsurprisingly, she did not have one and the cop said, “She’s done.” Most SWAT personnel then exited the place to make space for a medical expert and crime scene staff.
Another cop can be heard telling others to keep their bodycam’s on, and while looking at all the bullet casings on the floor says, “Is that theirs? No that’s ours, the only casings look like 9mils.”
At one point, it seems as Officer Brett Hankinson – who has since been fired and indicted by a grand jury – went back to discuss the scene, before being told to leave.
"It appears that the police form a separate and highly privileged class, armed with the authority and machinery for oppression and punishment, but practically free themselves from the operation of criminal law."
The Lexow Commission said this about U.S. policing in 1895.
— Matthew Guariglia (@mguariglia) September 23, 2020
Another video, from a different cop, shows the painful aftermath inside the place – bullet holes and blood-smeared walls… as well as Breonna’s lifeless body lying on the floor.
And another video from outside the apartment shows officers talking to Walker after his surrender. A teary-eyed Walker then declares to them that Breonna was lying dead inside and that they had no clue who was entering their place.
He repeatedly says, “We didn’t know who it was” … and one officer responds that they had announced themselves 3 times. And that is, in fact, the big dispute in this case. Walker says he fired his legal gun because he thought someone was breaking in.
According to authorities, as well as Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the officers identified themselves as law enforcement and were, thereforе, within their right to fire back on Kenneth and Breonna.
The decision on the indictment of Breonna’s killers was handled by a grand jury. During Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s press conference, after the charges were announced, he noted that it was crucial to follow the law and that the law enforcement officials who were involved in the death of Breonna had the right to presumed innocence until proven guilty.
The accused is innocent until proven guilty says @kyoag
"Justice must be done"
— Marvis Herring (@Marvis_WLKY) September 23, 2020
But the big question is, why was she not presumed innocent by the agents of the very same system they relied on to dismiss her death?
According to Lonita Baker, the National Bar Association Vice President for Regions and Affiliates and lead counsel representing Taylor’s family,
“This is the most absurd legal maneuvering that I have ever seen.
If [Hankison’s] behavior was wanton to those in neighboring apartments, it was likewise wanton to Breonna and Kenny. He should have been charged with wanton murder and another count of wanton endangerment.”
It appears that due process and the presumption of innocence are sometimes maneuverable concepts, used at the convenience of law enforcement. Officers can even deploy the “we feared for our lives” justification as a reason for shooting civilians dead, whether those people are armed or not. That same right, however, was not given to Walker. Apparently, he did not have the right to protect his home against intruders, but officers were justified in killing Breonna because they were shielding themselves from harm. The charges against Walker were dropped back in May.
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Sources: TMZ, MotherJones