LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville has been chanting Breonna Taylor’s name for months, coinciding with protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, both at the hands of police.
What You Need To Know
- Derek Chauvin charged on all counts in the death of George Floyd
- Protests over the death of Floyd coincided with protests over Breonna Taylor in Louisville
- Taylor's mother reacted to Tuesday's verdict
- Former LMPD detective Brett Hankison is set to go on trial in August
Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer responsible for Floyd’s death, was convicted Tuesday, spurring reaction from Taylor’s mom Tamika Palmer.
Today justice has been served but we are not fighting for justice for all of the victims and families for haven’t received theirs 💯— Tamika Palmer (@TamikaPalmer911) April 20, 2021
This isn’t over #BreonnaTaylor #AhmaudArbery #AdamToledo #JacobBlake #DaunteWright #SeanMonterrosa
Meanwhile, protesters plan to continue marching in Louisville over police tactics and racial equality.
Louisville civil rights attorney David Mour says the country still needs to deal with its history of racism.
“And if we don’t come to terms and deal with it now, I think it’s going to tear us apart,” Mour said. “And for a lot of last summer and up until this year, I felt like it was probably going to tear us apart. (The verdict) gives me hope that things are changing.”
But he’s not as hopeful for things in Louisville, where one of his own clients, Dee Garrett, was punched multiple times by Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers during an arrest near Jefferson Square Park on Sunday. LMPD Police Chief Erika Shields responded to the incident, which was caught on tape, and said the department was opening an investigation within its own professional standards unit.
“I’m standing in the square watching this, there’s cameras everywhere, there’s other witnesses, there’s people with cell phone cameras, and they did what they did. They just don’t care if the lights are on or off and that’s kind of frightening,” Mour said. “If they were driving you off into an alley and beating the crap out of you, it’s one thing, but they’re doing it in broad daylight.”
There are several avenues for reform, he says, including ending qualified immunity and amending what’s known as the state’s police officer bill of rights.
“It really hamstrings police administrators, city administrators, local governments, with regard to addressing misconduct by officers,” Mour said. “That needs to change.
Former LMPD officer Brett Hankison faces charges related to the night Breonna Taylor died, but nothing for her actual death. No one else involved that night faces criminal charges for Taylor’s death, either.
So if what happened to George Floyd happened in Kentucky, would Chauvin be convicted?
“I’m not a clairvoyant, but I will tell you this: sadly, I’m not even sure Derek Chauvin would have been charged in Kentucky,” Mour said.
Spectrum News emailed and sent a voicemail to the River City Fraternal Order of Police, the union representing Louisville police officers, for comment Tuesday.
Hankison is scheduled to go on trial Aug. 31 on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for firing shots into a nearby apartment during the raid on Taylor’s apartment. Last month, a judge ruled the trial will stay in Jefferson County after Hankison’s lawyer tried to get it moved due to publicity surrounding the case.