“You shall not murder.” Deuteronomy 5:17 ESV

Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankinson, and Myles Cosgrove on March 13, 2020. The officers burst into her apartment using a “no-knock” warrant looking for her boyfriend who she had severed ties with, a drug suspect who was already in jail. They did not announce who they were. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, licensed to carry a weapon fired in response. Breonna, a “first responder” medical worker was shot five times out of 20 or more rounds from police blindly fired.

After six months of investigation, the grand jury returned a three-count indictment against one officer Brett Hankison for “wanton endangerment” for rounds shot into people’s apartment next to Breonna. In other words, the indictment says every bullet that hit Breonna was justified. The grand jury by implication said Breonna’s death was justified. The only bullets that were not justified were those that hit her neighbor’s apartment. How can this be justified?

The killing by police of unarmed Black men and women must be seen as murder. These deaths at the hands of police have been justified:

• Michael Brown shot and left dying in the street after a confrontation.

• Eric Garner killed by a prohibited chokehold for allegedly selling loose cigarettes.

• 12-year Tamir Rice killed while playing with a pellet gun.

• Stephon Clark 22 killed while in his grandmother’s backyard holding his cell phone that thought to be a gun.

• Philando Castille 32 shot during a traffic stop with his girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter in the backseat.

• Alton Sterling shot six times while selling CDs and DVDs outside a shop.

• Freddie Gray died of a spinal cord injury while in custody.

• Tanisha Anderson who was bipolar was killed while being taken into custody The lack of prosecution and convictions make us cry out:

Black Lives Matter!

Prayer: Holy and Righteous God, Your Word has commanded for man not to murder. This applies to police officers also. Please help laws be changed for police officers to be held accountable for the unnecessary killing of unarmed people. Move on the hearts of police authorities, prosecutors, judges, and juries to no longer justify the killings of unarmed men and women. Amen.

© 2020 Dr. John Ogletree – Houston, TX