The woke mob has spoken. The decision not to charge any officer with homicide in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor is an outrage. Lebron James, that great legal mind, says so. Let the rioting commence. Actually, it has.
No justice, no peace.
But was the charging decision in Louisville unjust? Andy McCarthy says it wasn’t. I agree.
The cops [who fired the shots] were doing their job in executing a lawful search warrant at a location that was quite justifiably tied to a notorious criminal — Ms. Taylor’s former boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover. . . .
At about 12:40 a.m., the police, led by [officers] Mattingly and Cosgrove, knocked on the door and announced themselves as police. Taylor and Walker were startled out of their sleep. Walker, a licensed owner of a nine-millimeter Glock, says he did not know it was the police at the door and speculated that it might be Glover breaking in. For their part, the police expected that Ms. Taylor would be alone — they had not seen Walker enter the dwelling with her.
It was dark and there was a long hallway between the bedroom and the front door. There was screaming. Walker fired as Mattingly came through the door, striking him in the leg and severely wounding him. Mattingly and Cosgrove returned fire into the hallway in the general direction of where they believed the shooter was. When the smoke cleared, Walker was unharmed but Taylor had been struck six times. FBI ballistics experts eventually determined that Cosgrove fired the fatal shot. . . .
The police were properly executing a lawful warrant. There appears to have been more than adequate probable cause for the search in light of Glover’s ties to the apartment. Even if there were any doubt about that, the warrant had been duly authorized and therefore police were entitled to rely on it. And they were fired upon before reasonably responding with lethal force.
Clearly, neither Mattingly nor Cosgrove committed a crime.
Another officer on the scene might well have:
[Officer] Hankison, who was in the parking lot outside the apartment, began firing when the commotion he could not have seen began. He sprayed the patio and a window with ten bullets — irresponsibly, to be sure, but fortunately without harming anyone. Hankison, who had a spotty disciplinary record in almost 20 years as a cop, was terminated when police officials judged that his conduct during the raid shocked the conscience.
Hankinson has been charged with reckless endangerment. He cannot be charged with more, and certainly not with homicide, because his shots didn’t kill or injure anyone.
Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron, an African-American who spoke compellingly at the Republican National Convention, deserves great credit for charging this case properly, rather than being swayed by the mob. He has delivered justice. For that reason, there will be no peace.
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