Home Christian News Christian Leaders Share Shock, Grief After Breonna Taylor Decision

Christian Leaders Share Shock, Grief After Breonna Taylor Decision

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officers Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove forced their way into Taylor’s home, where Taylor was with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Walker fired one shot that hit Mattingly in the leg, and the officers responded by firing 32 gunshots into the apartment, six of which hit Taylor. 

The discrepancies in the accounts of what happened during the Louisville shooting center on whether the officers gave a warning before they entered and if Walker and Taylor actually heard that warning or whether they thought they were being attacked. 

Kentucky Attorney General David Cameron has said, “Evidence shows that officers both knocked and announced their presence at the apartment,” even though they were not required to, and Cameron added that this is corroborated by an independent witness. 

The attorney general said there are six possible homicide charges the officers could have been indicted under, but that none of them applied to Taylor’s situation because the officers were acting in self-defense. Hankison, however, was charged with wanton endangerment in the first degree for firing 10 shots that entered a neighboring residence. “Justice is not often easy,” said Cameron. “It does not fit the mold of public opinion, and it does not conform to shifting standards. It answers only to the facts and to the law.”

Walker claims he fired because he thought the officers were intruders, possibly robbers or one of Taylor’s ex-boyfriends. He was initially charged with attempted murder, but the charges were dropped, although he still could be prosecuted in the future. His lawyer has argued that the shot that hit Mattingly in the leg came from friendly fire. Walker has sued the city and, based on Kentucky’s “stand your ground” law, is seeking immunity from being charged in the future.  

The FBI has an ongoing investigation into the case

Louisville defense attorney Jan Waddell said of Taylor’s death, “You can’t get justice from a tragedy. What we have is a series of events that culminated in the use of self-defense,” meaning that the officers and Walker all acted in self-defense. “Just because Breonna was caught in the middle of that and she was the victim of a shooting doesn’t mean that either one of those parties engaged in criminal activity. “ 

Taylor’s family and many others have reacted to the grand jury’s decision about the Louisville shooting with grief and outrage. Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, said, “I was reassured Wednesday of why I have no faith in the legal system, in the police, in the law. They are not made to protect us Black and brown people.” 

A 26-year-old man has been arrested for the non-fatal shootings of two police officers in Louisville during protests following the grand jury’s decision about the Louisville shooting. That decision has sparked protests in other parts of the country as well, including Milwaukee, Seattle, Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C.

One fact seems to be clear in the aftermath of the grand jury’s decision: It has only exacerbated the pain that many in the Black community are feeling as a result of recent events and their experience in the United States throughout history. To those who are white and are wondering how to be supportive to their Black friends during this time, former NFL player Emmanuel Acho encourages them simply to be available. It means a lot, he said, for there to be “a white person who’s willing to listen.”

“Continue to lend your heart and your ears to your Black friends,” said Acho, “and just let them know, like, ‘Hey, whatever you need from me, I’m here for you.’ ”