Please add Breonna Taylor to the List

Breonna Taylor was (please note I said was) a 26 yo female (emergency room EMT) who was shot and killed by police on March 13. It was after midnight. She was in bed with her boyfriend. It is unclear if she woke up or not. The door was kicked in by police. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, called 911 saying someone was breaking in their apartment. He then grabbed his gun and started shooting. The police returned fire hitting Walker and killing Breonna.

According to reports the police used a “no knock” warrant to enter the house. They thought that this particular house was being used by a drug dealer to sell and house drugs. The drug dealer was already in police custody.

This raises several questions:

  • Why is a “no knock” warrant necessary? What is the criteria for using a “no knock” warrant? Who signed off on the warrant? What questions were asked? If the judge didn’t ask any questions then want is the purpose of the judge?
  • How solid was the information that drugs were being sold at that location? Since the police didn’t find any drugs it is important to look at the source of the information.
  • Shouldn’t the police be 80 – 90% sure before breaking down the door? I understand the need for breaking down a door but couldn’t the police have observed the house for a day or 2? What was the rush? Why did you have go right away?
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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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