The Breanna Tayor case and ruling is just another example of why we need serious law reform not just enforcement reform. See, the idea that we should disconnect the enforcement issues from the laws that are being enforced isn’t just a bad idea, it’s inherently dishonest.
To make a few things clear about this case let’s start with the facts. The police had a warrant and were granted the authority to perform a no-knock raid. The police have stated that they knocked and announced themselves. Kenneth Walker (Taylor’s boyfriend) thinking that the police were intruders starting firing at the police and the police then returned fire, multiple cops shot rounds during the raid, but at least one officer shot through the apartment walls with rounds entering neighboring domiciles. During the raid Taylor was inadvertently killed in the crossfire. Walker (the boyfriend) was charged with attempted murder but those charges have since been dropped.
The circumstances of the case are tragic. Taylor didn’t deserve this and yet the legal outcome of the grand jury is that her death was just an accident and the only wrongful action was the shots that entered neighboring apartments. What does that outcome say about our system in general? Does it reinforce the systemic racism narrative? Does it reveal a clear reality of the consequences of the war on drugs? Or maybe it shows that the militarization of the police is the real problem. The thing about this case is that all of these things played a role in Taylor’s wrongful death, and the system at large is what failed miserably.
Officers of the law have such a low bar of expectations in modern America in terms of the escalation of force. But in this case these officers were just doing their jobs and enforcing the law and a legal warrant, they were fired upon and returned fire, they have a right to do so and the outcome of the grand jury reinforced that.
So the question we really need to be asking ourselves is should these raids and no-knock warrants be something that is even considered as tools in which police departments and law enforcement should use? Any reasonable person would conclude that clearly these things are recipes for disaster and just asking for countless mistakes to take place.
If you want justice for Breanna Tayor then you should be backing the ending of qualified immunity and you should be fully backing the end of the failed war on drugs in America.