How Much Does Murder Cost?

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By Dymond McElrath 

On March 13, 2020, Louisville Metro Police Department executed a “no-knock” warrant at the apartment of a young woman named Breonna Taylor. A “no-knock” warrant is a search warrant whereby the police may enter into a dwelling without announcing who they are. While Ms. Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, slept, the police entered their apartment. Walker assumed that an intruder was breaking into their apartment, Walker and the police subsequently exchanged gunfire leaving Ms. Taylor fatally shot eight times. Long story short, the police raided the wrong apartment and murdered Ms. Taylor. 

Based on this tragic event, the Women’s National Basketball Association, dedicated the remainder of the 2020 season to Breonna Taylor and the “Say Her Name” movement. The “Say Her Name” movement raises awareness for African American female victims of police violence and anti-Black violence in the United States. Along with National Basketball Association players, WNBA players have been wearing warm-up tee-shirts, pregame outfits, customized face masks, and even game jerseys displaying, “Say Her Name.” 

On Sept. 15, the city of Louisville, Ky. gave Ms. Taylor’s family a $12 million settlement. WNBA star Angel McCoughtry of the Las Vegas Aces, who has had no problem voicing her opinion asked, “That’s it? You know, yeah, they deserve millions, but first of all, that’s not a lot of millions. And then second of all, why aren’t they (the officers) arrested? What else do we need to do? What else do people need to see?” 

Some critics of the Louisville government say the settlement was premature and that the mayor betrayed the city’s police by standing idly by as  protest leaders accuse the officers of murder. Ryan Nichols, president of Louisville’s River City Fraternal Order of Police said officers have felt unsupported by the mayor and his lack of leadership since protests started May 28.  

The question should be who is responsible for Breonna Taylor’s death? If responsible, shouldn’t someone(s) pay for it? Bottom line, the police raided the wrong apartment and killed Ms. Taylor. The city of Louisville gave a settlement of $12M to the family and the police, while feeling unsupported, remain blameless. I would say not only did the mayor support his police officers, he made a $12 million investment, and gave them a get out of jail free card. 

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