The United States of America holds its first two amendments near and dear to their collective hearts. Some would say that freedom of speech and the freedom to bear arms are intertwined. In the case of Kenneth Walker, his second amendment right to bear arms is thrust to the forefront. But first, let us work backwards.
On March 13rd at 1am, Louisville, Kentucky Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankinson, along with Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, entered the home of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT. The officers had previously obtained a no knock warrant because of unfounded claims that Taylor’s apartment was a den for drug activity. The officers shot eight rounds into the apartment, killing Taylor on the spot. Walker and Taylor were dating, and were in the apartment together. When Walker heard the commotion of the officers’ entry, he fired one round from his own firearm, wounding Mattingly in the leg. Walker was promptly arrested and charged with attempted murder of a police officer.
Most law enforcement officers are solid citizens that abide by their sworn oaths to serve and protect all citizens. Then there are others that fall abysmally short of that promise. The three officers involved in the Taylor shooting have questionable incidents in their collective files that make it hard to give them the benefit of the doubt here.
And let’s put to rest notions that Taylor deserved her fate because of allegations that she ran afoul of the law. She was a law abiding American whose talents as an EMT should have been praised during the current COVID-19 pandemic. LMPD needed proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were breaking into the correct apartment to break up any alleged drug activity. And spare us all the “Mistakes happen” jargon. Law enforcement is held to a higher standard. Such lapses in judgment that result in the death of innocent people deserves harsh punishment to serve as a deterrent for future scenarios.
Walker, a legal firearm owner, is to be commended for trying to protect himself and Taylor. His firing at the officers was a reasonable response, considering Cosgrove, Hankinson, and Mattingly did not announce they were officers. They just barged into Taylor’s apartment and started discharging their firearms, which initiated Walker’s natural response. How did Walker know who they were? It is reasonable to conclude that any innocent human being would shift into self defense mode when an invader wantonly bursts into your home during early morning hours and starts shooting. That’s what happened here.
Notably quiet are feminist groups, who apparently aren’t interested in Taylor’s death. If they’re so interested in protecting women’s rights, they should be screaming for the LMPD officers involved to be arrested, tried, convicted, and face stiff punishment for Taylor’s death. Breonna Taylor did nothing wrong. Kenneth Walker did what any human being would do in a similar situation. And for that, he needs to be fully exonerated.