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The thin line between peace and protest: anger in the wake of Breonna Taylor case decision

Demonstrators armed with signs as they lined the streets during June protest(Allie Ouendag/The Collegiate)

By Jamie Miller

Hello, well… This year just keeps going further and further down the tubes, eh? As if it couldn’t get any worse, the grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor case has come back, they are not charging the officers for Taylor’s death.

Now, granted one of the officers, Brett Hankison was charged with wanton endangerment, but only because one of the many shots he fired went into neighboring apartments. But as for killing Taylor… apparently that was legal!

Before I say anymore, a little bit of background. The Louisville police department believed that drugs were being kept in the house as a former boyfriend of Taylor’s was a suspected drug dealer. What they did before they entered the apartment is up for debate, whether they announced themselves as police before they entered or not has been contested. However what happened next is not. The police busted in the door with a battering ram causing Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, to fire first hitting one officer in the leg…. The officers then fired 20 times hitting Taylor five times killing her. 

Needless to say the grand jury decision is not going over well. Two officers have already been shot in Louisville. However, the protests here, in Taylor’s hometown of Grand Rapids were largely peaceful. And in fact the city of Grand Rapids itself expressed support of the demonstration only asking that proper precautions be taken. 

“If you decide to gather please follow COVID-19 health and safety guidelines by wearing a face covering, practicing safe physical distancing and washing or sanitizing your hands regularly,” the statement for Grand Rapids administrators read. 

These protests were attended by Tawanna Gordan and Erica Eaves, the cousins of Breonna Taylor. Gordon called for Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Payne to take a knee with them, 15 minutes later Payne did just that.

The fact that any of this happened at all just shows the state of our country. The fact that Breonna Taylor’s life met so little to the court and greater weight was placed on the risk to her white neighbors is just pathetic. And it just goes to show, we like to think we’re so evolved as a modern society… But we’re really not. Not when someone’s life means less because of the color of their skin. And so I implore, no beg you, each and everyone of you please, please vote in this coming election, for those you think will fix this. Because this can’t be allowed to continue, not anymore.