The New York Times just published a fascinating, dramatic recreation of the tragic Breonna Taylor shooting. The woman took fire during a police raid in Louisville back in March. She died resulting from multiple gunshot wounds.
NYT Video Fully Examines Fatal Breonna Taylor Shooting
At the time, the shooting received little attention outside of Kentucky. But after the killing of George Floyd, sweeping national interest turned to Breonna Taylor’s case. The latest result is the NYT recreation, which is as incredibly detailed as it is soberly heartbreaking in the loss of life. The NYT investigation compiled thousands of documents and crime scene images. It also reconstructed a full virtual model of the incident, from the first bullet fired by Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, to the ensuing barrage of 32 shots fired by Louisville Police.
But it illustrates what some allege to be a shoddy operation, one flawed from its very beginning. More importantly, even a Louisville SWAT officer criticizes the operation conducted by LPD, claiming incredible incompetence.
The New York Times video claims LPD acted on flawed intelligence. It then sent an inferior team, not comprised of SWAT officers, to execute a warrant while other, higher-trained officers did the same at other locations across the city. The lesser-qualified unit then committed tactical errors, compromising the tactical entry. Then Walker fired that fateful first shot. And in most cases, a suspect firing first would legitimize officer actions that followed.
But The New York Times report paints a picture of unskilled, lesser-trained officers succumbing to panic and fear. The following adrenaline-driven chaos crescendoed with a hail of gunfire, including 32 shots fired by officers. Inexplicably, one officer even ran outside and fired blindly into a window.
SWAT Critical of LPD Officers
After the shootings, SWAT arrived on the scene. It’s clear the veteran SWAT commander saw an operation he found littered with problems.
“We just got the feeling that night that something really bad happened,” Louisville SWAT Commander Dale Massey told The New York Times. “We had no idea they were going to be at that apartment that night. … I would have advised them 100-percent not to do it.”
Massey questioned the intelligence and the presumed lack of vetting. He criticized the execution, including officers inserting themselves into the “fatal funnel,” compromising the mission. But his greatest disdain came from Detective Hankison’s blind shooting through curtain-drawn windows.
“You have to know A, what you’re shooting at, B, what’s in front of it, and B, what’s behind it,” Massey said. “There’s no other way you can operate. It was just an egregious act.”