Louisville, Kentucky is the home of Breonna Taylor. Breonna was a 26-year old JCPS graduate who was terrorized and murdered as she and her boyfriend watched Freedom Writers in her apartment shortly after midnight on the morning of March 13, 2020. As a pandemic loomed, time seemed to stand still. However, even those of us who were aware of the police incident and loss of life that took place that morning, had no idea that an injustice had taken place until later.
It wasn’t until the morning of May 25, 2020, the nation watched in horror as another innocent Black man, George Floyd, was brutally murdered at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer. In real time! Anyone who had not been paying attention to the system of injustices that have been plaguing the Black community suddenly became aware, or at least should have. Shortly after that, Breonna’s death was revealed as a “botched raid,” and Louisville was thrust into the Movement for Black Lives.
The New York Post later uncovered bodycam footage from 2018 revealing another botched raid that had involved five of the same LMPD officers involved in Breonna’s murder. The music had stopped, and those caught doing “business as usual” suddenly exposed a system that allowed white people to legally get away with murder of innocent Black people, literally. This exposure involved, not only LMPD and Minneapolis police, but police departments across the country, as well as the elected and appointed leaders across this nation that give them cover. Many of them have ties to White Nationalists and White Supremacists, from Mitch McConnell to those tied to an insurrection on January 6, 2021, and the continued attacks on our nation’s democracy. #NoMoreNazis
The officers were armed with a warrant that alleged marijuana was being grown in the house — and burst in although it was not a no-knock warrant. Police said they found a small amount of marijuana but no plants and no evidence that the couple was selling the drug. No charges were ever filed.https://nypost.com/2020/08/26/cops-who-killed-breanna-taylor-also-botched-2018-raid-report/
In the above video, you see two children who were terrorized by LMPD that morning of the raid, which was conducted DESPITE it not being a no-knock warrant. JCPS is the 29th largest public school system in the country. The majority of students who attend JCPS are not white. What these two children experienced that morning is not isolated, and in fact, sheds light on the Black experience in Louisville, Kentucky. The Daugherty children are a more publicly known example, but many more have taken place that are swept under the rug. Take for example the student portrayed in Aaliyah’s Lost Mind: A No-Knock Situation, a book that was written by Dr. Kimberly Johnson detailing a similar incident that happened with one of her students when she was a counselor at Maupin, a predominately Black elementary school in West Louisville.
As protests escalated that summer, and even more innocent Louisvillians were murdered and jailed, ending No Knock Warrants, it was clear that ending no-knock warrants would have to be on their agenda if politicians expected to be elected to another term. But, instead of passing an authentic #NoKnock bill that had been written by Attica Scott, a Black KY House Representative representing the district where Breonna Taylor lived (who is now a candidate for US Congress), white KY GOP lawmakers stripped it of the “Breonna’s Law” moniker, and passed a whitewashed version of it at the state level.
HAVE WE LEARNED NOTHING?
Another incident involving a 22-year old Black man, Amir Locke, was murdered in a similar fashion. According to the article, Nekima Levy Armstrong, who is also a prominent community activist, and whom the Minneapolis mayor appointed last year as co-chair on a community safety work group, “has compared the case to the botched raid in which officers killed Breonna Taylor in her home in Louisville, Kentucky, in March 2020, which led to calls for change nationwide.”
As shock waves of this growing great divide continue to play out in real time, never in our lifetimes has there been so much at risk. Whether we realize it or not, Louisville plays a key role in determining if in fact, the arc of the moral universe leans, especially for Black women, toward justice. The #TwosdayTrial involves a Black female educator in JCPS who stood up for her Black students, like Breonna Taylor, “Aaliyah,” “Daquan,” and so many more other stories we are aware of, and experienced retaliation, professional discrimination and slander, as well as a demotion for “insubordination” as a result. Even as Dr. Johnson stands alone today, she is not alone in her experiences and how Black women are treated in JCPS and other workplaces where systemic racism is rampant.
Please consider making a donation to support coverage of the #TwosdayTrial, which begins Tuesday, February 22 at 9:30 am. Donations, to the extent that they are able, will also be used to help reimburse Dr. Johnson for some of her court costs and time off work without pay in order to be present at her own trial against the district where she is still employed as a 7th grade English Composition teacher. It is estimated that Dr. Johnson has already invested over $50,000 in legal fees and court costs.
Thank you for your interest in this very important matter. Please feel free to share content from this website with attribution and encourage others to focus #AllEyesOnKentucky.
#SayHerName #JusticeForBreonna #JusticeForJCPSStudents #WeStandWithEducatorsWhoStandWithBlackJCPSStudents #BlackJCPSStudentsMatter