On March 13, three plainclothes police officers entered a private residence just before 1 a.m. and shot and killed 26-year-old Breonna Taylor. Ms. Taylor’s boyfriend believed they were being robbed, so he called the police to report a crime. He also used his registered handgun to shoot at the intruders, which were the police. The officers, being shot at, returned fire which resulted in the shooting and death of Ms. Taylor.
On Sept 23, the Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the grand jury found that the officers were “justified in returning deadly fire” because they were being fired upon. If someone shoots at you, you can return fire.
This case is contentious, because most people support the police, and the same people support the right of citizens to protect their home. The idea that the police exist to protect and serve does not align with this outcome, where a citizen that committed no crime was killed.
Since the shooting, there have been proposed revisions to police policy, like banning no-knock warrants. The obvious facts not being addressed are three officers, not in uniform, serving a search warrant at a private residence after midnight. While the officers had the legal right to be there, providing the warrant was legally obtained, did the officers place themselves in a position to be misidentified?
If you are home at 1 a.m., and you hear noises outside your front door, and people are trying to gain entry, what would be an appropriate response? If you had a video doorbell and you saw three men, not in any uniforms and all displaying firearms, trying to enter your residence, what would you do? Under these described circumstances, if one shoots and kills a person, who is later identified as a police officer, would they be charged with homicide?