Saturday, August 01, 2020

Uncivil Rest in Louisville Kentucky: When Enough is Enough

Well, things got exciting recently in Louisville Kentucky. The normally sleepy city burst on the national scene with the death (some would say murder) of Breonna Taylor, a former EMT. To briefly recap, three narcotics officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department had been staking out the apartment of Ms. Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker for several months. The officers believed that either Ms. Taylor and/or Mr. Walker were jointly distributing drugs or were part of a larger distribution ring.

On March 13, 2020, the officers were ordered to raid the apartment using a "no knock" warrant, which had been issued earlier that day by Circuit Court Judge Mary Shaw. The warrant allows police officers to enter a residence without permission or having to identify themselves. Typically, this gives officers to catch suspected criminals off guard; often with drugs, guns, stolen merchandise, and money laying out in the open. That's when things go right.

There have been numerous occasions when officers acting on faulty information have raided the wrong residence with terrible consequences, ranging from heart attacks to officers being shot (or shot at) to the residents being killed by the cops. Unfortunately, officers are rarely disciplined for these mistakes.

At most police departments try to sweep the incident under the proverbial rug by issuing misleading or inaccurate statements through their PR department. In some instances they may try to justify a shooting by withholding, delaying, or "spinning" the information. A lot of people believe that's what happened in Breonna Taylor's case.

Oddly, the officers were ordered not to use their body cameras even though they were all wearing one and had used them in a earlier raid that evening. They maintain that they announced themselves before bursting in. Mr. Walker and neighbors, however, said that they didn't. I've been told that one officer did activate his body camera audio despite the order, so that should prove interesting if true.

Mr. Walker stated that he thought someone was breaking into the apartment, grabbed a gun and fired a single shot, slightly wounding one of the officers. In response, the officers returned fire into the dark apartment, shooting somewhere between 20 and 25 rounds. Several rounds went through the wall and into an adjacent apartment (thankfully no one else was injured or killed).

We were originally told that Ms. Taylor was asleep in her bed when the assault by officers began and was struck by eight bullets killing her almost instantly. We were later told that Ms. Taylor got out bed and was standing in the doorway of the bedroom and hallway when she was hit.

Other stories claim she actually in the hallway next to Mr. Walker, who was crouched when she was hit. Walker, who claims he fired once and took cover behind the hallway wall and during a brief lull made his way over to Ms. Taylor who died in his arms. The police department originally said there was "multiple gun shots" but later confirmed that Walker indeed fired only once as he claimed.

As a result of this, and following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, there has been protests pretty much across the country (and even overseas). The protests originally started off questioning the official narrative of the deaths and how they were being handled by the respective police departments while demanding justice quickly morphed into something else.

The deaths became a rallying cry for what the protesters claim is "systematic racism" not just within police departments nationwide, but within the entire government edifice itself. Enter Black Lives Matter (BLM). This organization first made its appearance in Ferguson Missouri in 2014 following the shooting death of Michael Brown who allegedly attempted to attack a police officer (further investigation would bear that out despite earlier claims by BLM that the shooting was unprovoked). Nevertheless, protesters had turned into rioters and looters, burning down much of the community's business center.

Louisville now finds themselves in a similar situation. Members of BLM came to Louisville shortly after Ms. Taylor's death and began organizing. They were joined by the militant group Antifa which is known for its violence. As expected the protests quickly morphed into riots and the citywide destruction of private and public property including irreplaceable monuments over a century old. Some were spray painted while others were toppled or outright destroyed.

In addition, local businesses, already struggling thanks to the COVID-19 virus, were further rocked with graffiti, busted doors and windows; many were looted. As of yet, neither BLM or Antifa have explained how destroying struggling businesses or robbing them has any bearing on the death of Ms. Taylor or calls for "social justice". I can't wait to hear their explanation.

Meanwhile, the protesters aka rioters were aided by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, who isn't known for his leadership abilities, when he told police officers to "stand down" and basically do nothing during the rioting and looting. BLM and Antifa never had a better friend than Greg Fischer.

As an aside, Fischer's long time pal, Chief of Police Steve Conrad, was fired in June over a laundry list of charges ranging from allowing sexual abuse of members of the Explorers, a youth police auxiliary, to continue to his failure of leadership and proper oversight, misuse of the budget, and much more. Even the city's FOP twice voted "no confidence" in his leadership. In short, he was let go, despite Fischer's protests, for what could be considered malfeasance and gross incompetence. I guess what they say about "birds of a feather" strikes pretty true in this case.

Unfortunately, when the city's Metro Council was created back in 2003, it was intentionally to be a weak, with the Mayor's Office having the power. Given how things have turned out, it's pretty obvious. Despite Fischer's inability to lead, Metro Council seems almost powerless to do anything about the violence; few members of the Council have even spoken up or offered any solutions (David James (D) of District 6, a former police officer and current council president, has proven to be an exception. He would be a good choice for Louisville's next mayor. Heaven knows we could use one).

Fast forward to July 27th and Louisville found itself "invaded" by an openly black racist group which identifies as a militia and goes by the name of "Not Fucking Around Coalition" or NFAC. They were all decked out in their all black uniforms with militaristic looking gear and semi-automatic assault type weapons. It was all intended to be both intimidating and reminiscent of Huey Newton and Bobby Seale's Black Panthers of the 1960's although they claim they're not related to the Black Panthers.

Their self-proclaimed "Grand Master" who goes by the name of "Jay" (real name John Jay Fitzgerald Johnson), had announced their intentions of a full mobilization of its 5000+ members through a deliberately ominous looking video. As it turned out only about 150 or so actually showed up (three were accidentally wounded by someone mishandling their weapon. Although Jay claims they're weapons competent, someone obviously forgot discussing loaded guns in formation and not using their safety).

Mayor Fischer issued a statement to Louisvillians about "not being afraid" and having adequate police officers available. I don't know if anyone other than Fischer was actually "afraid". Meanwhile, members of the Three Percenters, a conservative oriented militia, promised to show up.

However, only around 50 or so showed up. A couple of individuals said there were more, but that the police said they had to disperse and leave the area in order not to present themselves as a "threat". Individuals from other conservative groups were present and mingled in the crowd in what was described as "intelligence gathering".

Nevertheless, it needs to be pointed out that this was the second that conservative groups failed to gather in sufficient numbers to have any impact. Regardless as to the reason, the local media and political observers saw it as a severe weakness by conservative groups to match the organizational ability of the Left. In other locations, the conservatives have had much better success. Besides it's not like protests, riots, or march by NFAC were unexpected.

The march by NFAC was itself uneventful. What was interesting, however, was two bits of information. One was the unintentional acknowledgment by Grand Master Jay that at least some of those who showed up to march were being paid, which really isn't a big deal, and the other involved his conversation with the Kentucky's Attorney General, Daniel Cameron (R), before their march.

According to Jay, he and Cameron had discussed the events surrounding the investigation of Kenneth Walker and Breonna Taylor (including the events leading up to and just after her death). They discussed the Attorney General's investigation of the officers (all three should have been fired), and the general situation within the LMPD. I suspect they discussed the presence of BLM, Antifa and people's mounting frustration to the entire situation and increasing potential for serious violence.

Grand Master Jay went on to say that he told Cameron that he and his group would return in 30 days, at which time he expected that the investigation to be complete and that the three officers involved to be held accountable for Ms. Taylor's death (he apparently expects them to be tried, convicted and the bonfires properly stoked by the time he returns too).

He added that if the officers aren't formerly charged with murder that his militia would "burn Louisville to ground". Obviously he's not aware that the LMPD rarely are held accountable for their actions and rarer still, receive the same punishment mere taxpayers receive for the same crime, which brings up the final part of his conversation with the AG. In essence, regardless of how onerous the death of Ms Taylor was or the fact that one of the officers was fired, Jay is demanding these individuals be denied their day in court. He is also threatening the AG that unless his "demands" are met, he intends on committing a crime (remember, he said he would "burn Louisville to the ground" which is not the same as protesting).

His previous appearance in military gear and with weapons was obviously an implied threat. It's not much different from what the old Mafioso did back in the 1920's and 30's. It's called extortion or "blackmail". City leaders or business owners had to pay some sort of "protection money" to avoid their businesses or offices from being bombed or shot up. This isn't any different. Guerrilla movements around the world still use that technique to fill their coffers.

With a milksop Mayor, no strong Metro Council leadership, no police chief (just a reluctant Acting Chief) and a demoralized police force, along with a highly militant BLM and Antifa on one side and a seriously ticked off and generally frustrated citizenry on the other side, this should prove interesting.

People are tired of the riots and looting; tired of seeing businesses destroyed; tired of monuments and parks vandalized; tired of wannabe Che Guevara's trying to intimidate them (or the few enterprising little thugs using the protest to rob people in stopped cars); the lockdown; the masks; tired of being out of work; tired of being told what they can do, with who, and how many.

We've reached a boiling point, and it doesn't matter what your political registration is, your race, or any other artificial division imposed on us by the ruling Oligarchy. We need to resolve this through mutual respect and civil discussion, not by violence and schoolyard bullying.

Shooting of Breonna Taylor

Not Fucking Around Coalition

Police: 3 Black militia members injured in negligent gun discharge may result in charges

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kenneth Walker, in an interview in May, did say that the police knocked repeatedly. He also said that he and Breonna had time to get up and get dressed and that they were in the hallway.

I also read that the police officer was hit in an artery in his thigh which is, in my opinion, worse than "slightly injured."

I totally agree about the mayor's leadership abilities but not that David James is a good candidate. I'd love to see George Rodman run myself :)