Today, President Biden signed a long-overdue Executive Order on policing. Unfortunately, it came five days too late to protect Omari Cryer, the 25-year old Black man who was gunned down by US Marshals in Louisville, Kentucky’s West End Friday morning. The night before, VICE News aired a damning expose about the corruption, theft and cover-ups taking place within the Louisville Metro Police Department, including new insight into what happened the night Breonna Taylor was murdered, and more unanswered questions.
It’s been a busy news cycle since we learned the results of our local primary races last Tuesday, which I recap here: Win Some Lose Some. Then, the VICE News two-part expose aired Wednesday and Thursday, with Thursday night’s episode being the most eye opening. Then Omari was hunted down and murdered Friday morning. More than a day later, US Marshals issued a weak ass statement. Then, yesterday, the nation went numb when 19 more innocent school children and two of their teachers were massacred by a radicalized 18-year old male who had easier access to automatic weapons than he did mental health support. As we try to process trauma coming at us from all angles, Louisville can’t afford to lose sight of Omari’s case, because there have been too many inconsistencies and unanswered questions coming out of LMPD and their “partners” even BEFORE Friday’s incident, and we demand and deserve answers. And with what many of us have suspected all along being validated by the VICE News reporter, Roberto Ferdman and the brave witnesses who shared their stories, compounded by suspicious behaviors and obviously willfully misleading statements, we deserve an investigation that is not led by members of their own incestuous crime ring. Isn’t this why we have a Civilian Review Board? Make sure they’re included in the investigation process because they may have some insight or suggestions that could benefit the case, and they can report back to the community and let us know how the investigation is progressing.
President Biden’s Executive Order has three key components related to investigating patterns and practices of police misconduct. The first component requires all federal agents to wear activated body cameras while on patrol. The second component raises standards, bans chokeholds and no-knock warrants and to emphasize de-escalation and interviewing to stop another officer. The third component of the executive order “modernizes policing” by calling for a fresh approach to recruit, train, promote and to retrain law enforcement tied to protecting public safety and public trust.
Too bad our country acted too slowly to protect Breonna Taylor from the no-knock raid that ended her life. Too bad this order came five days too late to protect Omari Cryer from being gunned down by 10 federal agents with a possible ties to dirty LMPD cops with nothing more than their word that Omari deserved to die that morning. Without body cam footage, the only witness who can tell Omari’s side of the story is dead. How convenient. Yet, Tweets from Steve Romines, local attorney, indicate LMPD brought in the US Marshals to get around the body cam requirement. Perhaps they knew the ban was coming and seized the limited window to target Omari and send a chilling message by terrorizing the Black community, essentially to “pipe down unless they want it to happen again.” Not much has changed in Louisville since the days of the Wades and the Bradens.
More will be revealed about this case and the inconsistencies between LMPD and US Marshals words and actions, as well as witness testimonies that put two and two together. In the mean time, please check out our Justice for Omari Cryer page with timely and relevant links as they happen. And please share the links and help us keep #AllEyesOnKentucky!