Recent revelations about the search warrant that led to Breonna Taylor’s death have reopened old wounds in Louisville’s Black community and disrupted the city’s efforts to restore trust in the police department.
Former Metro Police detective Kelly Hannah Goodlett admitted in federal court that she and another officer falsified an affidavit for Breonna Taylor’s home search, according to the Associated Press.
Falsified information in the warrant that led to the killing of Breonna Taylor in March 2020, has deepened the mistrust that Louisville’s Black community already carried.
“What bothers me so incredibly is that so many lives were lost because of this lie,” Hannah Drake, a Louisville leader in the push for Justice said after Taylor’s death. “They don’t even understand the far-reaching tentacles of what they did.”
On more than one occasion during protests in Kentucky’s largest city, law enforcement provoked situations instead of presenting calm energy.
In June 2020, a Black restaurant owner was fatally shot in his restaurant kitchen by a National Guard member. Days prior, an officer who wounded the man’s niece taunted protesters and demonstrators on social media, daring them to put up a challenge with police.
Drake urges that more systemic changes are needed, and that, for now, authorities need to apologize to protesters for their treatment during the 2020 summer. She says they should also drop any cases against people arrested for protesting that summer.
Hundreds of protesters have been cleared of charges, but there are still some that remained criminally charged.
“We were right to protest,” Louisville Urban League President Sadiqa Reynolds tweeted following Goodlett’s guilty plea. “People are dead and lives upended because of a pile of lies.”
Our city damn near broke under the weight of these lies. We told you there could be no peace without justice and no justice without truth.
We were right to protest. People are dead and lives upended because of a pile of lies. https://t.co/EhXxGjt7YK
— Sadiqa (@SadiqaReynolds) September 7, 2022
There have been instances where Louisville officers have been disciplined, fired and even charged for abusing protesters.
Currently, Louisville is putting together multiple reforms for a new 911 diversion program. They look to increase leadership reviews of search warrant requests and the improvement of police officer training.
“We could have avoided all this,” Hannah Drake said. “And I think that’s where the pain comes from — we were right!”