June 8, 2020

Louisville demanded justice after police fatally shot Breonna Taylor. Instead, it lost another black life

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“I can talk to different audiences in different ways than some of my black brothers and sisters can,” he told them. Advertisement

“We fed them,” he said. The Rev. Several nights earlier, Crews had been photographed by local journalists standing with a group of officers while a female protester offered her flowers. Both incidents, they say, were the result of sloppy and confrontational policing that treats black lives as expendable. That was around the time when Taylor’s attorneys won for the release of a 911 call from the night of the shooting in which Walker, weeping, tells a dispatcher that he and Taylor were attacked by unknown intruders.“I don’t know what is happening,” Walker said. Advertisement

Walker and Taylor were both initially described as “suspects” and Walker was jailed and charged with attempted murder of a police officer. Over the next two nights, smash-and-grab thefts broke out.Mayor Fischer said he had no choice but to crack down. Speakers blasted uplifting music: “Young Gifted and Black” by Nina Simone; “Everything Must Change” by George Benson; an R&B song dedicated to Taylor that was recorded by one of her cousins. In response, McAtee appeared to fire one shot out the door. Two police officers and one member of the National Guard shot back, killing him. The city’s postal inspector denied that claim in an interview with television station WDRB, saying there was no history of Taylor receiving suspicious packages.There are also conflicting accounts about whether officers identified themselves before they broke down Taylor’s door with a battering ram.Police had obtained a controversial “no-knock” warrant, meaning they were not required to announce themselves. (Taylor family)

Upstaged at first by the coronavirus outbreak — which Taylor, an emergency room technician, was helping fight — the police shooting death of an unarmed black woman in her own home nearly went unnoticed nationally. Soon Louisville, which had laid Taylor to rest as winter gave way to spring, was readying itself for another funeral. “It makes me feel so happy when I know I’ve made a difference in someone else’s life,” she wrote in a Facebook post last year.“She was like the vibe of all vibes,” Bowman said. She quickly became a popular figure at Western High School, her easy laugh endearing her to strangers and putting her center stage during family game nights.She loved to sing and to blast music from her white Chevy Tahoe. She followed her mother into the medical profession because she wanted to be of service. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

In Louisville, a city with a racist and segregationist past, protests against both deaths exploded.Demonstrators gathered in a downtown park outside of city hall, met by a phalanx of police officers dressed in riot gear who fired tear gas and nonlethal rounds at protesters and journalists. Prosecutors later dismissed the charge, citing a lack of evidence. The men responded with more than 20 bullets, eight of which hit Taylor, killing her.The men, whom Walker said he believed were intruders, turned out to be police who were serving a warrant at Taylor’s apartment in search of a suspected drug dealer. The alleged dealer, who police say once picked up a package at Taylor’s house, had in fact already been arrested by other officers at his house 10 miles away. “The city never came out and said, ‘We’re going to be reviewing our policies and we’re so sorry this happened.’”Fischer did not fire the officers who took part in the raid on Taylor’s home, and he did not immediately fire Police Chief Steve Conrad, who had been accused of biased policing in the past, and in 2017 was the target of a no-confidence vote by the council. After McAtee died, his body lay on the ground outside of his restaurant for more than 12 hours before the coroner took it away. Advertisement

Marvin McAtee, nephew of Louisville, Ky., police shooting victim David McAtee, at the spot where his uncle was killed.(Associated Press)

After McAtee’s death, local news outlets published a Facebook post from Katie Crews, one of the officers who shot at him. “We were able to see what happened to George Floyd,” said Lonita Baker, a lawyer for Taylor’s family. Advertisement

As the crowd began to disperse, a police officer fired a nonlethal pepper spray pellet, sending several people running for cover into McAtee’s small restaurant, which doubled as his home.Surveillance videos from the scene show that McAtee, who was inside, poked his head out the door to see what was happening while his hand came to rest on what appeared to be a handgun strapped to his right hip. The people were not protesting and were miles away from the nearest demonstration, but they were in violation of Mayor Greg Fischer’s curfew. In that time, hundreds of neighbors passed by to gawk.McAtee tried not to look at his uncle’s body, but now it’s all he can see. Those measures resulted in the death of David “Ya Ya” McAtee, a 53-year-old with long dreadlocks who ran a barbecue joint on a busy corner in Louisville’s poor, predominantly black West End. On the warrant, police said a postal inspector told police that the target of an ongoing drug investigation had received packages at Taylor’s address. police violence, aggression amid demonstrations

Recent protests in Los Angeles have served up a steady stream of troubling videos of police aggression and violence. “While we’re there trying to get through Breonna’s death, the police provoke another.”Though they hailed from different parts of Louisville and had different backgrounds, both Taylor and McAtee were, in their own ways, pillars in the black community who were known for helping others. Protesters have argued that McAtee and Walker were acting in self-defense in line with Kentucky’s “stand your ground” law, which gives residents the right to use deadly force against home intruders. Advertisement

“People were not protesting, they were hanging out,” said Sadiqa Reynolds, president of the Louisville Urban League. When nobody answered, he reached for his licensed handgun.The door burst open, and three men in street clothes rushed in, weapons drawn. McAtee was a patient listener whom people came to with their problems, said his sister, Addie McAtee, 50. Taylor had dozed off — she was due back at the hospital early the next morning — but was awakened by pounding on the front door shortly after midnight March 13. “This turned from being a peaceful protest into violence and terrorism and looting on the streets of our city,” he said May 29, announcing the curfew and asking the governor to send in the National Guard. He spoke briefly, telling the crowd that they should keep pushing for justice in the Taylor case, and that he would, too. The restaurant, he said, had a friendly relationship with local officers, and often let them eat for free. Celebrities including Beyonce and Cardi B had posted birthday messages to Taylor on Instagram. Advertisement

“It’s like I’ve got some energy,” she said. “I hope the pepper balls that she got lit up with a little later on hurt,” Crews wrote in a post that the police department now says it is investigating. Three neighbors who were present that night told The Times that while they heard loud pounding on Taylor’s door, they did not hear the officers announce themselves. Critics have also questioned why the police and National Guard were in the West End near McAtee’s barbecue restaurant, given that protests were confined to downtown. Louisville demanded justice after police fatally shot Breonna Taylor. Like cities across the country, Louisville responded to protests against police brutality with a curfew and aggressive policing. police violence, aggression amid demonstrations

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Troubling videos capture L.A. Advertisement

It was released May 28 as fury was growing across the country in response to a graphic video filmed three days earlier that showed a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes until his body went limp. Advertisement

Breonna Taylor was shot and killed while police were executing a warrant at her house March 13. “Poor management of the police department has led us to this moment in time,” said David James, a City Council member and former Louisville police officer. “We have to tell what happened to Breonna.”The family’s legal team, which includes celebrity attorney Benjamin Crump, who is also representing the Floyd family and relatives of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was shot to death by two white men while out for a jog in Georgia, kept pushing. His nephew and business partner, Marvin McAtee, said his uncle likely had no idea the shots at his restaurant were coming from police, pointing out that shootings between civilians are common in the West End. “Come back and get ya some more old girl, I’ll be on the line again tonight.”In response to that and news that police were not wearing body cameras at the time of the McAtee shooting — a violation of department policy — Fischer fired Conrad. Jesse Jackson, a hero of the civil rights movement that Taylor drew inspiration from, had come to show his respects, dressed in a blue suit. Still, they said they did say they were police. New developments in her case combined with two weeks of international outrage over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody ignited protests here on Taylor’s behalf. Yet the mood was buoyant. Advertisement

“We’re out here protesting police brutality and we’re being met with police brutality,” said Khalilah Collins, a member of the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. Advertisement

It felt like attention was finally being paid. A protester holds a sign during a protest in Louisville, Ky., over the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. More Coverage

Police chokeholds come under scrutiny around the world following George Floyd’s death

Just after midnight on June 1, dozens of police and National Guard troops descended on the neighborhood to clear people from the streets. It quickly slipped from the headlines, another tragic encounter between police and African Americans. Advertisement

A memorial to David McAtee, the owner of a barbecue spot who was killed when police and National Guard soldiers were enforcing a curfew early Monday.(Associated Press)

Taylor was born in Michigan and moved to Louisville with her family when she was a teenager. attorney’s office, he said.On Saturday, Fischer stopped by a memorial held for Taylor downtown. “Somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend.”The call, which protesters and lawyers say proves that Walker did not know it was police at the door, was a turning point. Advertisement

The June heat was oppressive, especially for those sweating under masks. Protesters gather in Minneapolis in response to the death of George Floyd. Immediately police fired two pepper balls toward him and his niece, who was also standing in the doorway, narrowly missing her head. “I feel a breeze running through my body.”

A piece of art for a campaign seeking justice on behalf of Breonna Taylor, killed by police in Louisville, Ky.(Cate Young) California

Troubling videos capture L.A. (Associated Press)

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Journalists have exposed inconsistencies in the government’s version of events, as well as what appears to be a false statement on a search warrant used to justify the raid on Taylor’s home. Though he had been caught up in a violent lifestyle as a younger man, he had later committed himself to helping people resolve conflicts peacefully, she said. She and her boyfriend met for a steak dinner and then drove home to her southside neighborhood, where they fell into bed and turned on “Freedom Riders,” a documentary about the 1960s civil rights movement. Print

LOUISVILLE, KY. — 

It had been a long day at the hospital. “Who is it?” her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he yelled multiple times. “At first we felt a little lonely,” said Elysia Bowman, her best friend, who worried that Taylor, who would have been 27 this month and was known by some as Breezy, might be forgotten. But suddenly, Taylor’s name was echoing through the streets. Walker fired a shot, striking one of them in the thigh. Breonna Taylor was tired. Advertisement

In an interview over the weekend, Fischer vowed to hire as his replacement a chief who will build “the most compassionate police force in the country.”The next steps in both cases will be determined by independent investigations into each incident by the attorney general’s office in Kentucky, the FBI and the U.S. But the police response to those demonstrations, as if in a cruel arc, would end up claiming another black life in a spray of gunfire. Instead, it lost another black life

Addie McAtee, 50, stands at the site where her brother, David McAtee, 53, was shot and killed by Louisville, Ky., police June 1.(Kate Linthicum/Los Angeles Times)

By Kate LinthicumStaff Writer 

June 8, 20207:57 AM

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Copy Link URLCopied! Not only did it coincide with the pandemic, there was also no video of the incident, unlike in other police killings that have sparked immediate anger in recent years. Bowman, Taylor’s friend, said she felt something like hope for the first time in months. “When we say she was special, we’re watering it down a bit.”
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And yet Taylor’s killing almost fell into obscurity. “Every time it comes into my head, I try to blink it out,” he said. It felt like Taylor was there, too. Many have questioned whether McAtee’s death could have been avoided if the government had responded in a less confrontational manner. Advertisement

That evening, a shooting between civilians injured seven people.