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In response to injustice, say her name and vote

In a gross miscarriage of justice, it took six months to tell us that Breonna Taylor’s Black female body and life don’t matter. Like Audre Lorde, my response to racism is anger. As a Black woman scholar, I actively challenge the silence, unquestioned privilege, misnaming, stereotyping, exclusion, betrayal, gender and racial distortions to resist dehumanization. I also use my anger for liberation.

Anger after the 2016 election motivated a surge of women to run for and win local, state and national office in 2018, ushering in the second “Year of the Woman.” Black women had the biggest increase, gaining 14.8% of all seats held by women nationwide, especially in the South. New Black women were elected to Louisville Metro Council. Research shows that Black women elected officials bring their whole identity to lawmaking. Witness the swift introduction and passage of Breonna’s Law outlawing no-knock warrants and the #CROWNAct for Black hair freedom across multiple states and the House.

As we continue to #SayHerName to honor Taylor’s legacy, let’s also get #VoteReady and #MakeAPlanTo-Vote for candidates who pledge to fight for justice and our humanity. In righteous indignation, my response to rooting out systemic racism is to #VOTE2020 because #BlackLivesMatter.

Dr. Sherri L. Wallace, Louisville, 40205

Police need retraining

It appears from here that while the military is trained to take cover when shot at, the police are trained to return fire. Emptying a pistol clip wildly into an apartment without a specific target evidently caused the death of Breonna Taylor. I feel retraining, including stop telling police that they’re warriors, and dealing with an adrenaline rush, is required.

Additionally, serving a warrant without wearing body cameras can create mistrust by the citizenry when disasters happen, and negatively affect the police ability to defend themselves.

Edward Rosenberg, Cleveland, Ohio, 44118

What if we did the right thing?

What if Black lives really Mattered? And Black bodies were respected? What if Black leaders were protected by law enforcement, not arrested? What if we listened deeply for the pain, the grief and the desperation beneath the anger? What if we “heard the cries of the poor” with open and generous hearts? What if those in custody for destruction of property were willing to repair the damage they caused, and the whole community helped?

What if honest measures of restitution and reparation for centuries of injustice were negotiated in good faith with the first peoples of this land, with those whose ancestors were brought here in slave ships, with all who have been denied their basic human rights? What if we responded to this moment of reckoning with a full commitment to transformation of our systems? What if we were truly a compassionate city? What if…?

Marcy FitzPatrick Allman, Louisville, 40218

Taylor was not a criminal

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly’s notion that “the good guys are demonized, and criminals are canonized,” ignores a crucial principle of our judicial system, that an individual is innocent until proven guilty.

Too often, law enforcement treats the public they serve as enemy combatants, guilty by association. A search warrant is neither a conviction nor an indictment.

The police involved in Breonna Taylor’s killing have rightly benefited from thorough investigation. Protesters rightly ask why Ms. Taylor did not deserve the same due process.

Mary Rotella, Louisville, 40222

Take action by voting

I want to send my condolences to the family of Breonna Taylor for the injustice just announced by the Kentucky attorney general. I am hopeful that the protests over this action will be peaceful. Kentuckians should take action by voting in legislators who will pass legislative measures to ensure criminal justice reform that will permit police officers to be held criminally liable for their illegal conduct.

David M. Macfarlan, Warrington, PA, 18976

Why didn’t officers wear body cameras?

Out west, the long-delayed and skimpy news conference from Kentucky’s Republican attorney general about the death of Breonna Taylor was not reassuring. Your attorney general, just elected a year ago, is plainly smart. But otherwise his qualifications seem limited to his political connections — including working for Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell. In any event, the case illustrates that police executing a search warrant merely involving alleged drugs — especially at night — should give extensive notice and the whole event should be recorded with body cameras.

Gary Wesley, Mountain View, CA, 94040

Two-tiered justice system is unfair

It’s ironic that on the same day that the Breonna Taylor decision came down that major United States banks were found to be laundering money for drug cartels. Low-level drug busts carry with it the real possibility that you will face the death penalty. If you are a bank and participate in high-level drug business you are rewarded with huge profits. An added bonus is that with the dispersal of drugs that devastate communities they can swoop in like vultures and profit off misery, foreclosing local businesses and residences. The rich get away with murder. The law is on their side.

Leonard R. Dwenger, Louisville, 40204

Letter supporting police major is disturbing

The letter by Mr. Figg in the Readers’ Forum titled “Bravo” (Sep. 27) is disturbing. I have no illusion regarding the fact that there is a significant number of Figg-like Kentuckians who support Maj. Bridget Hallahan’s opinion about the Louisville protesters. I also understand that The Courier Journal’s editors wish to provide these Kentuckians with the same platform everyone else has to voice their opinions. Nevertheless, when such an opinion uses an extreme hyperbole to describe the Louisville protesters as morons exhibiting stupidity who want to destroy Louisville, I do question the wisdom of allowing such inflaming description to be placed in your newspaper.

Thankfully, police Maj. Bridget Hallahan is relieved of her duty. Those within the Louisville Metro Police Department who agree with her opinion and support her should be relieved of their duty, too.

Avital Schurr, La Grange, Ky. 4001

Appalled and disappointed by lack of justice

I am a 77-year-old white woman and I am appalled that the two policemen who shot an unarmed woman six times were not charged with murder. Since the city paid off her family, they must know what really happened. Unfortunately no amount of money will ever bring her back or change the circumstances of her death. I am also very disappointed in our attorney general’s decision.

Edna Piscatello, Rineyville, Ky. 40162

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