First, a primer:
I hope you read the untold story of Brian Thurman and Travis Nagdy while you were reading the primer. Now, I’m going to tell you a secret. It’s not going to feel good. I’m warning you now because some of you may stop reading as soon as you hear it. But if you leave, I hope you’ll come back.
You have bias. I have bias. We all have bias.
Bias is a blind spot. As the basketball example in the primer shows us, it doesn’t have to be intentional. It could be based on a lie. A lie someone with even more lies to protect might tell you. Someone you trust. Like a family member or, I don’t know, someone who wears a uniform and is licensed and enlisted to carry a gun and protect the rest of us?
Abusers Lie – We’ve Been Lied To
Like I said, this is going to be hard to hear. I understand if you can’t read this in one sitting. Some of us have been enabling these abusers longer than others. Some of us are going to have a hard time coming to terms with the abuse they’ve suffered and endured, during a pandemic, perhaps at the hands of a spouse, an employer, an elected official or even a trusted police officer. Some of us are going to have an even harder time coming to terms with harm we’ve caused by perpetuating the abusers’ lies.
But while progressive Kentucky Democrats were still processing the disappointing results from the prior day’s primary election, buzz started to circulate on social media that Joy Reid of MSNBC was about to interview VICE reporter Roberto Ferdman about his two-part investigation into LMPD and reveal new details on Breonna Taylor’s case. Looking for a hail Mary at this point, I thought, “this could be the miracle we need to change the game.” Because, other than Charles Booker, there’s not a lot on the Democratic ticket this November to get folks excited about. Corporate elite Dems screwed the pooch again. They “fat fingered” the scales and put their white moderates in just about every important seat our little blue bubble has the ability to impact. And for the first time ever, Louisville had the chance to send a Black man AND a Black woman to DC. The boundary Attica was running for a seat in is pretty much the same boundary as all of Louisville. We vote Blue. If there was ever a seat that Dems could protect without having to expend a lot of resources and cash, it was this one.
Just a few days earlier, Mitch McConnell’s protégé Daniel Cameron, Kentucky’s current Attorney General who was instrumental in the continued botching and Grand Jury tampering of the investigation into Breonna Taylor’s death, announced he was going to run for Kentucky Governor against Andy Beshear. Beshear is the same Democratic Governor who kept residents of a red state safe during a deadly pandemic. I’m not his biggest fan because of his reluctance to stand up for the Black voters in Louisville who put him over the top three years ago, but I also recognize that allowing Daniel Cameron to become the next King of Kentucky would lead to even more violence and enslavement of Black and brown Kentuckians, but would be especially destructive for Louisville’s Black children. We have already lost generations of Black children in Jefferson County. Breonna Taylor is the example that gripped a nation, as VICE’s two-part series demonstrates.
In case you’re in a rush, or just want a recap, below are some of the excerpts from the first night’s program on VICE. A link to the replay is below:
“Officers found drugs and threatened to arrest her.”
“Investigators repeatedly took Hankison at his word.”
“In 2008, Hankison was accused of letting a woman off in exchange for oral sex. The case was closed without Hankison being interviewed.”
“In 2020, Hankison was fired for his involvement in the raid that led to Breonna Taylor’s death. That same year, a woman filed a lawsuit alleging that Hankison sexually assaulted her after driving her home from a bar where she worked off duty.”
“The detective picked up on a few of the things that had also stood out to us. Investigators were treating cops very differently than their accusers. And they weren’t challenging suspicious responses by officers.”
“If you know the right people, you may not even get investigated.”
“It took 15 months for them to ask him to surrender his phone.”
“Plea deals are very common.”VICE NEWS, May 17, 2022
SIDE NOTE: Speaking of Plea Deals and how they contribute to structural racism, read attorney Dan Canon’s book, “Pleading Out.”
Here’s the first episode of VICE’s two-part series, Above the Law.
Here is part 2. I didn’t make a recap because you really need to watch the whole thing. Twice.
There’s so much I want to break down when we have more time, but where did Hankison go? Where did the money go? Why did they overlook so many clues and give favorable treatment to the dirty cops? And the thing is, these things are not isolated. They are used to getting away with it. But the night Breonna was killed, the music stopped. The day we saw George Floyd murdered by a cop in broad daylight in real time, the story of Breonna’s botched raid came out, and our eyes were opened.
In addition to the obvious mishandling of Breonna’s case, I can’t help but also see lots of parallels between LMPD and JCPS, Louisville’s public school system, but we’ll get to that later. Retaliation is also common in LMPD, just like in JCPS, as well.
Early Detective Work
I first heard this version of Breonna Taylor’s story in February of 2021. Kendrick Lamar Wilson, a local organizer and protester was hired by Breonna’s Taylor’s mother’s first lawyer, Sam Aguilar, to do some detective work. He was one of the early whistle-blowers, but I believe because some people felt the version of story he was telling might put Breonna in a negative light, he was discredited and silenced. This not only delayed the truth from getting out, but he found himself in the crosshairs of a lot of people who were trying to frame the narrative some other way. Sometimes these people were prominent civic leaders, so he had a hard time being taken seriously and he continued to be targeted by law enforcement, as well.
Claiming that he “cracked the case,” Kendrick’s hypothesis was that plain clothes LMPD officers went to Breonna Taylor’s place in the early morning hours of March 13, 2020, with every intention of robbing her. They had obtained a no-knock warrant and as such, were legally authorized to bust the door down with no warning, no reason to identify themselves. And because they were not in uniform, even if police had knocked, it doesn’t mean they didn’t look shady. And if you consider the possiblility that Kendrick’s story is plausible, the rest of their behaviors that night and the weeks and months that follow make sense.
The no-knock routine is that plain clothes bust the door down while the occupants of a residence are sleeping, catch them off guard, take the stash and dash. In Breonna’s example, they would have been going after $14,000 that they believed she was holding onto for her ex-boyfriend, Demarcus Glover, based on a call that took place between Breonna and Demarcus when she visited him in jail. The cops further abuse their power by holding the charges over their victims’ heads, finally offering them a plea deal in exchange for remaining silent.
Kendrick explained that these types of things happen all the time with LMPD. He cited several other examples of people he knew who had been “rolled” by LMPD prior to this incident, so it fit the pattern. The VICE news story revealed that $15,000 was found at the scene of Breonna Taylor’s murder, but that money never made it into evidence. This fits with Kenrick’s hypothesis.
I believe that because this grift was such a routine thing that dirty LMPD officers were used to getting away with, they got sloppy. They weren’t expecting one of their own to get shot with a potentially fatal injury, necessitating SWAT team backups and hospital visits. Questions about missing body cam footage, the officers’ whereabouts during the aftermath brought additional scrutiny. And then when George Floyd was murdered in broad daylight on live TV, news of Breonna’s botched raid began to circulate, their story didn’t check out. Suddenly Louisville and the nation realized the officers who killed Breonna Taylor were not so innocent after all.
That’s when more coverups began, leading to grand jury witness tampering by our very own Attorney General Daniel Cameron, lying under oath during the Hankison trial, theft of $15,000, violation of policies, tampering with evidence (such as when someone put long gun shell casings at the crime scene), and who knows what else we will find.
Here’s some posts from Kendrick’s page:
Dirty Cop with a Vendetta
Below are several examples of people who have had run-ins with Brett Hankison and others over the years. Kendrick has a lawsuit against Hankison. His attorney called Hankison a “dirty cop with a vendetta.”
“One officer in particular, Brett Hankison, is accused of being a “dirty cop” and more than one woman has come forward to say he sexually assaulted them. The accusations which were originally made on social media, have, according to People, caught the attention of the Louisville Metro Police, who plan to initiate an investigation into the matter.People
But that’s not all. Local entrepreneur and community activist Chris Thieneman had several altercations with Brett Hankison, years ago, as well. He has also called him a “dirty cop” and says he tried to get LMPD to do something about him, which only led to him having even more of a target on his back. Chris has spent the last several years being harassed and even arrested by those trying to shut him up, for simply trying to expose the corruption of everyone involved in the sexual abuse and coverups of the Youth Explorer program.
Here Chris is in his own words explaining some of his encounters with County Attorney Mike O’Connell. who Chris is currently suing for defamation, after he attacked him and an attorney who was representing the sexual assault victims of the Youth Explorer program. He also tried to warn LMPD about dirty cops like Hankison, but nothing was done. Visit www.LouisvilleKy.com to see the information he’s put together. By the way, Chris is running for Metro Council 7.
Thomas Clay is a former Kentuckian, and another regular livestreamer who had personal experiences with LMPD officers including Hankison. He talks about some of those experiences in a recent FB live:
Many more examples have come to light in this 2nd episode of VICE. But not a single news story came out in our local paper the day after these programs aired. Nope, but this happened:
Now are you starting to see the pattern? If you have other examples you would like us to share, send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To date, NO ONE has been held accountable for her murder.
More Helpful Links:
Here’s a timeline of events in the Breonna Taylor Case:
And everything WHAS11 knows:
WLKY Compiled all the Documents here:
About that Warrant
About that Autopsy
Six Officers Investigated, No Justice Was Ever Served
Summer Dickerson’s Deleted Video