Picture by APU GOMES/AFP/Getty Images
In March, police in Louisville, Kentucky, shot and killed 26-year-old EMT Breonna Taylor while she was sleeping, during an early morning raid conducted with a no-knock warrant. Since her murder, Taylor’s name has echoed across the nation as protesters demanded justice. But following Wednesday’s announcement that the grand jury decided not to charge any officers for Taylor’s killing, many have been left feeling disillusioned and lost.
After police shootings, justice in the public imagination often becomes constrained to the boundaries of carceral systems. There is nothing to do but charge the police and hope they get sent to prison. But time and time again, this fails to happen. In rare instances, a grand jury may indict an officer, like in the case of 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley Jones’s death. Joseph Weekly, who shot Jones, was indicted by a one-person grand jury on charges of involuntary manslaughter, a felony, and careless discharge of a firearm causing death, a misdemeanor. Later, a judge dismissed the felony charge, citing a lack of evidence.