Louisville, KY, is poised for trouble. The three officers involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor will have their fates decided this week by a grand jury convened by state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who will announce whether the police have been indicted or will go free. Protesters are ready to march, business owners are praying that their livelihoods will survive, and the city’s authorities are gearing up for a worst-case scenario. Antifa is no doubt prepared to deliver just that.
AG Cameron will – at some point this week – announce the grand jury’s decision on criminally indicting the officers. City and law enforcement officials are taking no chances. The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) has put in place a “state of emergency” as officers have begun barricading roads and federal buildings are being boarded up. LMPD interim Chief Robert Schroeder spoke with press outlets Sept. 22 to explicitly state that they did not yet know the verdict and that all measures were precautionary. He said:
“We just ask that people bear with us as we go through these unprecedented times … We felt these steps were necessary to help protect the public.”
Schroeder also pointed out that although there have been no specific threats recorded at this time, he was “aware of all the social media rumors. But, nothing viable at this point.”
The Breonna Taylor case has forcefully gripped the attention of the American public and lawmakers alike. On March 13, police arrived at Taylor’s apartment to serve a “no-knock” search warrant related to a drug investigation. The officers say they knocked first, announcing who they were before breaking down the door. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, states that he did not know who was coming into the apartment and opened fire, hitting one officer in the thigh; three officers responded with fire, killing Taylor in the process.
Just one week ago, Louisville’s Metro Government settled with Taylor’s family to the sum of $12 million in a wrongful death lawsuit. However, the family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump, has been very plain that he sees this as just a first step in full restitution:
“Regardless of this landmark step on the journey to justice, we still are demanding that Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron bring charges immediately against the police officers that murdered Breonna Taylor. Immediately. This week. Justice delayed is justice denied.
“The city leadership has done a significant step today, but now it is on Daniel Cameron and the attorney general of Kentucky’s office to bring charges, and at the very minimum … second-degree manslaughter charges, because we want full justice for Breonna Taylor, not just partial justice.”
And while Crump is seeking a legal resolution, law enforcement and city officials are well aware that if protesters are not satisfied with the grand jury decision, things could turn nasty very quickly.
Should the officers be charged with second-degree manslaughter, under Kentucky law, this is a Class C Felony and comes with a sentence of between five and ten years.
A Powderkeg In Waiting
The nation is watching very carefully. It would not be hyperbolic to suggest we would see a fresh outbreak of rioting if a criminal indictment against the officers is not delivered. AG Cameron is aware of this, LMPD is mindful of this, and surely those who sit on the grand jury know this.
Liberty Nation’s Legal Affairs Editor Scott D. Cosenza weighed in on what is likely going on behind the scenes:
“Sol Wachtler, who was the chief judge of the state of New York, famously said, ‘District attorneys now have so much influence on grand juries that, by and large, they could get them to indict a ham sandwich.’ The reason is that the DAs control the process in its entirety, and defendants have few rights. Grand juries operate in secret, and defendants have no right to examine witnesses or evidence or present a defense. The result is, as Wachtler says – any decent lawyer could get a mother to indict her children if they could present a case without a word said in defense.
“This reality has led to increased distrust between the police and public, with a perception, at least, that pro-law and order district attorneys direct grand juries to ‘no-bill’ or refuse to issue charges against police suspected of misconduct, while directing indictments against those accused of crimes against police. The mob knows the grand jury is the DA’s tool, however, and is convinced that DA will use it for the benefit of the cops. For those who enjoy a bit of irony with the news, the purpose of grand juries is to ensure defendants are not harassed by unsupported charges.”
Will AG Cameron and the grand jury make their decision based upon the probable fallout, or will they be as blind as Lady Justice and move forward based on the facts presented?
Read more from Mark Angelides.