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You're listening to Comedy Central now. As the world came together over the past few months to protest against racial injustice, the name George Floyd has been chanted all over the globe. But there's another name which initially didn't get a lot of attention, but has slowly become the rallying call for people crying out for justice and change. And that name is Brianna Taylor.
Public pressure is now mounting with protests and celebrities speaking out, Brianna Taylor's life matters.
We have celebrities from Ali Wong, Kerry Washington and Khatib saying her name.
Do you know, Brianna, tell a story, her whole story about her family to know? And I want the state of Kentucky to know that we feel for it and we want justice.
The WNBA dedicating this season to social justice. We are dedicating this season to Brianna Taylor, an outstanding EMT who was murdered over a hundred and thirty days ago for the first time in 20 years.
Oprah Winfrey is giving up the cover of her own magazine, putting the late Brianna Taylor on it instead.
Yes, from LeBron James to Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle to the WNBA, the tidal wave of support for Brianna Taylor has been swelling day by day. And the support has even spread to social media platforms like Instagram and Tick-Tock, which is fantastic. But it's unfortunately also come with downsides, because if you're online a lot, you've probably seen Brianna Taylor being turned into just another meme. You know, whether it's putting her name on a picture of Rihanna's ass or mentioning her death and some caption of a random selfie.
And the truth is, this is like this is a weird amalgam of a few things. You have this relatively new phenomenon of using social media to push for justice and reform, which is good. But the downside of that, the downside is social media is a medium that doesn't always do sincerity well, doesn't do selflessness well, that struggles to give tragedies the gravity that they deserve. And so you have maybe well-intentioned people who want to keep the name trending and they want to see Brianna Taylor get justice, but now essentially using her name as a punch line because means I'm not the best way to honor someone who has passed means the reason Obama didn't dab at John Lewis's funeral today.
And so today on the show, as painful as it is, I wanted to take the time to either remind people or inform people about the story of Brianna Taylor, not as a slogan or a post on your social media feed, but as a human being.
Brianna Taylor. She's more than just a movement, a hashtag for a moment.
The 26 year old was an EMT working in emergency rooms at two hospitals and helping respond to the coronavirus outbreak.
She loved to help people bring on a loved family. She just was she was a very sweet person and she went out of her way for anybody.
Twenty six and full of life. This is Brianna. Etched in her family's memories of dancing with friends. Let me go and everything will be all right. Singing her favorite song, buying her dream car.
She loved life. She loved to be around friends and family. She just she had it figured out.
That's right. Brianna Taylor was a friend, a daughter, an EMT worker, working to help save people's lives and apparently one hell of a tick tock dancer. And by the way, it's actually nice to see the news covering a black person's death at the hands of police by using the good pictures and not that one picture that makes us all look like we've robbed 50 banks. I mean, you know, Brianna Taylor was a great person because if she had jaywalked once, the news would have been like frequent jaywalker and occasional M.G. Brianna Taylor was sadly killed by the police.
So for twenty six years, Brianna Taylor lived her life to the fullest. But then on a random night out of nowhere, the Louisville Police Department turned her into a statistic.
On March 13th, as Brianna and her boyfriend, Kenny Walker, lay asleep in their bed, plain clothes police officers broke down their door using a battering ram on a no knock drug warrant. Kenny, thinking intruders were violently breaking in, grabbed his licensed gun.
Walker says they didn't say they were the police before he fired off a shot from a gun.
The officers responded with a hail of gunfire when the door comes after him to suggest it should happen fast, like it was like an explosion.
Walker said he purposely aimed his gun towards the ground. Sergeant John Madingley was struck in the leg and was one of three officers who returned fire. Detective Brett Hankerson was standing outside and fired 10 rounds through a closed and curtained patio door. According to Louisville's police chief, his blind shooting displayed in extreme indifference to the value of human life. The gunshots whiz through walls, windows, bullet holes were found everywhere in the kitchen, bedrooms in a neighbor's apartment with small children.
Nearby, multiple neighbors called 911, one asking for police, only finding out later it was the police.
You know, almost every time we hear a story involving a police shooting, I'm always shocked at how badly trained and not in control the police seem. Brianna Taylor's boyfriend was lying in bed, I heard his door get smashed in, grabbed his legal firearm and had the presence of mind to try and injure the intruder by aiming down. But the cops, who supposedly trained professionals, they burst in like they get paid by the bullets. And for anyone who has the audacity to blame Brianna's boyfriend for shooting up the cops, please answer me this question.
If America tells people to get a gun to defend themselves from intruders, but the cops are the intruders breaking down the door without knocking, what are you supposed to do to an innocent person?
There is zero difference between a no knock raid and a home invasion. If someone busts down your door in the middle of the night, you're going to think that they're intruders, not, oh, the cops might be here or damn UBA ites is coming in hot tonight. In fact, it would be weird if you didn't use your gun in that situation. I mean, if not, then what are you saving it for? To be honest, we shouldn't even be calling these things no knock raids that give them too much credit, we you just drop the euphemism and call it what it is, a home invasion where police get to act like they're in a video game.
The police break down the door without warning, they shoot Brianna Talu eight times in her own house. And what makes the story even more tragic is that the cops should never have even been in that house in the first place.
Police got five warrants approved for war for suspected drug dealers and suspected drug houses. Lumped into that with similar language was the warrant for Brianna Taylor's apartment under the suspicion she was involved with handling money and drugs for an alleged Lewisville drug dealer. Her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover.
She hadn't dated Glover in months, a package. Police say they saw Glover picking up at Taylor's apartment was likely a pair of shoes, according to the family attorney. And despite what officers were told before the raid, Brianna Taylor certainly did not live alone. When it was all over, police found no drugs, no money in her apartment before going into Brianna Taylor's home.
Police were actually warned that she would be very little threat if no threat at all.
Yes, they used bogus intel and they came in guns blazing, even though they knew she wasn't a threat. Every step of the way this investigation ran, the police screwed up. They made a million mistakes, which is a million more than any black person is ever allowed to make. And honestly, with the amount of mistakes that the police made throughout the entire process, I don't even know if it's fair to call them mistakes at this point because a mistake is something you do by accident.
But these cops blatantly ignored so many protocols and so much information.
At some point it moves from a mistake to just actively not giving a fuck.
And it's bad enough when you learn what these people did in the heat of the moment, but in a way what's even worse is what they did when they had the time to think Brianna Taylor was alive for several minutes after police shot her five times and for more than 20 minutes after Taylor was fatally shot.
Taylor twenty six lay where she fell in her hallway, receiving no medical attention, according to dispatch logs.
You see her boyfriend after the shooting being arrested here in the parking lot. Police tried to charge him with attempting to kill police officers, but those charges were later dropped.
A recently released police incident report from that night is mostly blank. It claims there was no forced entry. It does list Taylor as a victim of a crime and other injuries.
It says none, even though Taylor was shot eight times.
You see, it's one thing to, quote, unquote, shoot someone accidentally eight times, but leaving her on the floor without any medical attention, that isn't an accident. That's just a blatant disregard for black life. And on top of all of that, the cops submitted a mostly blank incident report, really, you really couldn't think of anything that you could write on that report? Not even. Oh, we stop. These officers are so bad they couldn't even solve the murder that they committed.
And right now, the attorney general of Kentucky says that they're investigating Brianna Taylor's killing. But it's been four months.
And in that four months, they've seemed to find a way to arrest somebody.
It's been more than four months since twenty six year old EMT Brianna Taylor was shot and killed in her own home. So far, there have been no charges filed against the three white officers involved. By comparison, though, this week it took just one day to file felony charges against more than 80 protesters who went to the home of Kentucky attorney general calling for justice.
And beyond Beyonce's killing every single day in America, we're reminded that there are different criminal justice systems depending on who you are. There's one for the rich and there's one for the poor. There's one for white people, and there's a different one for black people. And apparently there's also one for those who oppose police brutality and for those who commit. It's not like the one bit of hope that I have seen from this is that the protests are actually getting results because a few months ago, almost nobody had heard of this case.
But now, thanks to people taking to the streets and relentlessly pushing for justice, some changes are being made, including Briana's law, which bans no knock warrants in Louisville. But the truth is, we have so much more work to do because what happened to Brianna Taylor, it's not just a few bad cops, it's not even really just about the cops. It's also the legislature that gave them the power to break into houses. The judge that signed the warrants, the police department that didn't act against these officers and the county that charged the protesters for challenging these rules.
In other words, what happened to Brianna Taylor wasn't a failure of the system, it was the system working as it's intended, and that is why people are fighting for the system to be changed. The Daily Show with Criminal Ears Edition, watch The Daily Show weeknights at 11:00, 10:00 Central on Comedy Central and the Comedy Central and watch full episodes and videos at The Daily Show Datong. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to The Daily Show on YouTube for exclusive content and more.
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