The haze of preemptive violence “to save” rather than take lives is a common rationalization for police dynamic entry or sneak attacks in war. The mediated versions of explanatory narratives tell a more complex interpretive story as the killing of Breonna Taylor has shown. Even after the out-of-court financial settlement and the protests, the narrative is complex, despite how easy it was to produce multiple random gunshots in a residential structure as part of a “war on drugs” that demands criminal justice reform. This is the “political economy of violence” offered by American policing.
- The New York Times released a visual investigation titled “How the Police Killed Breonna Taylor” on Monday.
- Taylor was fatally shot by Louisville police officers during a botched raid at her apartment in March.
- The investigation uses interviews, photos, and 3D-diagrams to visually recreate the moments that led to Taylor's death.
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The New York Times visual investigation team released 3D diagrams and photos in an 18-minute video on Monday that show how the Louisville police killed Breonna Taylor.
The 26-year-old emergency medical technician was fatally shot by Louisville police officers during a botched drug raid on March 13. Authorities didn't find any drugs at her apartment.
A grand jury indicted one of the officers involved, Brett Hankinson, with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for shooting her neighbor's apartment. Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove were not charged.
The death of Taylor, along with other Black Americans killed at the hands of police, caused nationwide protests this summer as people rallied for justice.
The Times investigation shows the pathway of the 32 bullets the officers fired that night and past interviews from the officers and Kenneth Walker, Taylor's boyfriend, who struck Mattingly in the leg as the officer's beat down their door that night. Walker told investigators they did not hear police announce their presence before entering the apartment.
The Times was able to reconstruct Taylor's apartment where the shooting took place using 3D imagery, statements, crime scene pictures, documents, and SWAT team video to visually show the officers' reckless actions during the raid that led to Taylor's death.
Watch the full video below from The New York Times:
The police weren't wearing bodycams that night, in violation of policy, but our recreation shows how officers lit only by a dim outdoor light, hardly visible to Taylor and Walker, stepped into the “fatal funnel” of Taylor's doorway and fired blindly into her apartment
— Evan Hill (@evanchill) December 28, 2020
One last thing: Our video shows it took 30 minutes for Taylor to receive emergency medical attention, even as officers patched up their wounded colleague. We saw this in our investigations over and over again this year. The life of the suspect never seems to be the priority.