What Came Before the Death of Breonna Taylor

The 'New York Times' takes a look
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2020 1:31 PM CDT
'This Was the Year of Big Plans' for Breonna Taylor
Protesters participate in the Good Trouble Tuesday march for Breonna Taylor, on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Louisville, Ky.   (Amy Harris/Invision/AP File)

Breonna Taylor's name hasn't left the headlines since she was killed by Louisville police in her apartment on March 13. But her story hasn't been told quite like this before. In a lengthy piece for the New York Times, Rukmini Callimachi writes that for all the protests and coverage, "what happened that night—and what came before and after"—hasn't been shared in depth. Callimachi contrasts that with George Floyd's death, which, unlike Taylor's, was captured on video. And so Callimachi pieces together the before, during, and after via dozens of interviews and a review of 1,500 pages of police records on the case. Two major focuses of the piece are the two men Taylor dated over the last few years—Kenneth Walker, who was with her when she was killed, and Jamarcus Glover, whom police were looking for and arrested elsewhere that night—and the role Louisville's months-old Place-Based Investigations unit played in what happened that night.

The unit, formed in December, was to bring a new approach to policing: going narrow instead of wide by zeroing in on high crime spots and taking out their teeth, like "putting 'No Parking' signs along a street where drug dealers idle in cars." Among the unit's targets was Elliott Avenue, where murders occurred almost annually; 2424 Elliott had been identified as a drug stash house used by Glover. Over the next two months, a GPS device tracked Glover's car to Taylor's apartment; her car was seen in front of 2424 Elliot; and he collected packages sent to her apartment in his name. That led to her apartment being included when five "no-knock" warrants were signed by a judge in connection with Glover on March 12. Taylor would be dead less than 24 hours later—though she had finally called it quits on her relationship with Glover the month prior. Her mother says Taylor started "writing goals on every scrap of paper—junk mail, napkins, envelopes." Writes Callimachi, "This was the year of big plans for the 26-year-old:" (Read the full story here.)

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