Breonna Taylor shooting: Black GOP Kentucky AG attacked by left after grand jury decision
A co-founder of Black Lives Matter has absurdly compared Daniel Cameron — Kentucky’s first Black attorney general — to the infamous White supremacist Bull Connor, following Cameron’s announcement Wednesday that no police officers will be prosecuted for the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency medical technician.
Cameron announced that a grand jury determined that two police officers were justified in firing their guns in Taylor’s apartment March 13 because Taylor’s boyfriend shot at them first after officers used a battering ram to force their way into the apartment during a drug investigation. Tragically and inadvertently, one of the officers fatally wounded Taylor, authorities concluded.
Cameron is one of only two Black Republican state attorneys general in the U.S. I am the other. Comparing him to Bull Connor is an insult that makes no sense and is disconnected from reality.
WOMEN'S MARCH CO-FOUNDER TAMIKA MALLORY SAYS KENTUCKY ATTORNEY GENERAL DANIEL CAMERON NO DIFFERENT THAN 'SELL-OUT NEGROES'
Bull Connor was public safety commissioner in Birmingham, Ala., from 1957 to 1963, and was a staunch segregationist with ties to the Ku Klux Klan. He ordered police to use dogs and firehoses against peaceful civil rights demonstrators, and allowed KKK members to beat freedom riders — who sought an end to segregation — before police officers belatedly responded to the scene.
Connor’s brutal tactics were seen on TV newscasts by millions across the United States and around the world, helping galvanize widespread support for civil rights among Americans of all races.
So what did Cameron do to warrant being compared to the likes of a White racist like Connor?
Quite simply, Cameron properly defended the deliberations of a grand jury that considered the circumstances of a police action that so unfortunately ended in Breonna Taylor’s death.
While the grand jury found no basis for criminal charges against any police officers in direct connection to Taylor’s death, it returned three counts of wanton endangerment against fired former Louisville Police Sgt. Brett Hankison for firing shots that entered a neighboring apartment.
Attorney General Cameron defended the process of following the facts where they led — the same process I followed myself in many years as a prosecuting attorney.
Judging from the protests, however, many Black Lives Matter activists would have preferred that Cameron blindly pursue vengeance against police officers involved in the incident, regardless of whether they broke laws or not.
We all acknowledge that Breonna Taylor’s death was a heartbreaking tragedy. She was simply a bystander to events that unfolded inside her own Louisville apartment. She did nothing to deserve the cruel fate that befell her.
But police entered Taylor’s apartment because they suspected her ex-boyfriend had received drug shipments at her apartment, as part of his suspected drug trafficking operation. Taylor’s current boyfriend thought the police were intruders and shot at them. Police fired back, striking Taylor.
Even as we mourn the grievous loss of life in this case, we also must acknowledge that such tragedies can happen without criminal activity as the causation. And that’s exactly what Cameron stated.
“I certainly understand the pain that has been brought about by the tragic death of Breonna Taylor,” he said. “I understand that as a Black man.” But, he rightly added, “if we simply act on emotion or outrage, there is no justice.”
Should a Black prosecutor see justice differently from a White prosecutor?
My answer is no.
Should a Black prosecutor see justice differently from a White prosecutor? My answer is no.
Certainly, it is beneficial to have diverse individuals involved in administering jurisprudence. Having police officers, lawyers, prosecutors, judges, jurors and others from a diverse array of racial and experiential backgrounds helps us as a society overcome intrinsic biases that otherwise could taint the process.
But we must strive to ensure that the facts and evidence always drive findings of guilt or innocence — or of whether there is a legal basis to file criminal charges in the first place.
That’s exactly the approach that Cameron eloquently defended in his nationally televised press conference.
For doing his duty with diligence, Cameron has been assailed by the left.
I think what I saw this morning was a Bull Connor speech in 2020,” said Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza following Cameron’s announcement Wednesday. “And … unfortunately, it was being given by a Black prosecutor.”
Garza was not the only one to falsely imply that Cameron was a sellout.
Retired Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Cheryl Dorsey criticized Cameron for not filing additional charges against officers: "Let me say this as a Black woman … he does not speak for Black folks. He's skinfolk but not, he is not kinfolk. … He does not speak for all of us. This was not a tragedy, this was a murder. He should be ashamed of himself."
And Women’s March co-founder Tamika Mallory said Friday: "Daniel Cameron is no different than the sell-out Negroes that sold our people into slavery and helped White men capture our people to abuse them and to traffic them."
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Mallory added: “That is who you are Daniel Cameron. …We have no respect for you, no respect for your Black skin because all of our skinfolk ain't our kinfolk and you do not belong to Black people at all."
In other words, Cameron’s critics argue that his race should have dictated the conclusions he reached about criminal liability in the death of Breonna Taylor.
Such an expectation is “the very definition of racism,” commentator Candace Owens, who is Black, said on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Thursday. “It's coming from the liberals who like to say that they see racism everywhere, but they can't recognize it when it's coming out of their own mouth.”
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As Cameron’s only fellow Black Republican state attorney general, I know what it’s like to go against the ideological grain. But the reason Cameron’s future is so bright is because he’s got the courage of his convictions.
And that, like justice, is a quality that knows no color.
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