‘This was a Black lives don’t matter ruling’: MSNBC’s Joy Reid delivers powerful rebuke to Breonna Taylor grand jury
Joy Reid (MSNBC/screen grab)

MSNBC anchor Joy Ann Reid slammed the grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor killing, declaring it a "Black Lives Don't Matter ruling."


A Louisville, Kentucky grand jury charged former police officer Brett Hankison with three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree. As Reid noted, none of the charges are related to Taylor's killing.

What former Officer Hankison "is being charged with was having extreme indifference to the lives of everyone," Reid noted, but he is not being charged with extreme indifference to the life of Breonna Taylor.

"So what they're saying is, officers, 'Aim at the people in the apartment. As long as you don't wantonly aim, so that the neighbors are endangered, you're good.'"

"There's nothing in this charge that mentions Breonna Taylor. There's nothing in this charge that accounts for her life or the value of it."

"There's no charge here that says, 'You need to at least care about, in the conduct of your investigation, the lives of the people in front OF YOU.' It's saying, 'Ignore their lives, care about the neighbors, care about what's through the wall, don't shoot around because you might shoot, you know, the postman or someone nearby. But don't worry about the lives.'"

"Police officers are trained in a use of force matrix, in which they are allowed to use a certain amount of force depending on the situation. There's verbal force that you use, there's physical force, it goes all the way to deadly force."

"What the law is saying," Reid continued, "is that the matrix doesn't have any concern for the life of the person in front of you. So long as you, as an officer can come up with a justification for firing your weapon, you can kill at will. We need to think about as a society: Do we want police officers to have the right to kill at will? Do we want to be safe in our own homes, and know that police cannot enter?"

"We fought an entire revolution saying we didn't want the British to be able to bust into our homes and start shooting, or quarter themselves in our homes. There was a Castle Doctrine for a reason. We need to decide whether we feel comfortable giving an officer the ability to kill at will, anyone in front of them as long as he aims, and as long as they're dead. Because you don't get charged, otherwise, right?"

"We're not charging these officers. It's not just about punishing them. It's about setting a public policy baseline that says you just can't kill people. Period. But apparently, in the state of Kentucky today, you can."

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