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Breonna Taylor Deserves Same Respect as Rhogena Nicholas, Dennis Tuttle

by Todd A. Smith

 

 

No Knock Warrants Too Dangerous


No knock police warrants have become too dangerous.


Sure, no knock police warrants are needed when dealing with hardened criminals.


But what happens when it results in the loss of an innocent life like in the case of Breonna Taylor?


Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that police officers place themselves into harms way daily to protect the lives of the people of their city.


At a bachelor party years ago, a police officer (who’s brother was getting married) told me at the end of the day, he’s going home to his wife and kids.


He cannot say the same thing for every criminal that he encounters.


Their life depends on whether or not they comply with his orders or not.


Understood.


But what happens when cops get it wrong?


Over the last couple of years, no knock warrants have resulted in the highly publicized deaths of innocent people because police officers got (or completely fabricated) some fake news from their colleagues or their confidential informants.


First it happened in Houston on January 28, 2019 with Rhogena Nicholas and Dennis Tuttle, a White married couple, because a cop lied about them being big time drug dealers.


The couple died, and four officers got wounded in the shootout. 


One of the injured officers was Gerald Goins, an African-American officer who retired after the botch raid.


Officer Steven Bryant and Goins got indicted and charged for the botched raid in Houston.


Goins was accused of lying to get a search warrant of the deceased couple’s home and was indicted for felony murder and tampering with a government document.


Bryant also retired after the botched raid in Houston.


He got indicted for tampering with a government document and is accused of lying to police to cover up the bad warrant.


It was bad enough that bad police work resulted in the two deaths in Houston.


Now, it has happened to Breonna Taylor, and African-American woman in Kentucky.


I bring up the race of the victims because bogus no-knock warrants and police error can affect all races, not just African-Americans.


In both cases, cops busted into the homes of innocent people without knocking and without a warrant, and the homeowners opened fired believing that someone was breaking into their homes.


In Houston, police officers almost immediately blasted the community for putting officers in danger.


Black Lives Matter faced criticism.


Real criminals faced criticism.


But the real criticism should have been directed towards the practice of no knock warrants and bogus police work.


How should a person respond when someone breaks into his or her home for no reason, even if it is a police officer in plain clothes?


After all, how would a person know they are shooting at an officer if he or she does not identify him or herself or is wearing plain clothes?


In America, residents have a right to bear arms and protect themselves.


The right to bear arms is actually in the constitution, and the constitution supersedes all other laws.


So if police officers do not identify themselves when busting into someone’s home, they should not be surprised when someone shoots at them not realizing they are firing at officers, especially if the person is a law-abiding citizen.


On the contrary, I see why police officers use no knock warrants.


If cops are trying to bring down hardened criminals, the last thing I would give the criminal is warning that I am about to bring them down.


Therefore, no knock warrants serve a point if the cops have all their ducks in a row.


But if the duck is allegedly 10 miles away, like in the Breonna Taylor death, the cops responsible should look for a new line of work.


In Breonna Taylor’s situation, the alleged dope house they were looking for was allegedly 10 miles away.


Therefore, the police department should start looking for their checkbook even though financial compensation cannot make up for their blunder.


Many police officers hate the criticism that they receive from groups like Black Lives Matter.


But when one takes a job in a leadership position, they have to take the criticism with the praise.


To whom much is given, much is required.


One mistake and/or one criminal can cost a cop his life.


But one mistake from a cop can cost an innocent civilian their life too.


And although law enforcement is a dangerous job and those who sign up for it should be applauded, praised and respected, the reality is they signed up for that job.


No one forces a person to be a police officer.


The police officers responsible for the death of Breonna Taylor should be held accountable.


Yes, mistakes happen.


But when a mistake costs an innocent woman her life, there are no excuses.


I do not have the answers because law enforcement is not my expertise.


However, law enforcement officials should really look into fixing the no knock warrant police or severely punish officers when they kill innocent people like Breonna Taylor.


Maybe the deterrent will eliminate bogus or lazy police work.


In Houston, police officers, including an African-American cop in Goins, have been held accountable for the botched raid that resulted in the death of a White couple.


Although no two jurisdictions are the same, let’s see what happens to the officers when the victim of a botched raid is an African-American woman and the police officers are all White like in the tragic case of Breonna Taylor.


If the punishments are not similar, the distrust between the African-American community and the law enforcement community will unfortunately continue to grow.



This article was published on Friday 15 May, 2020.
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