Fierce

Breonna Taylor’s Mother Demands Justice In Appeal To Jo Biden To Investigate Her Murder

Update December 21, 2020

Breonna Taylor’s death has sparked nationwide outrage as Americans demand justice. One officer was indicted recently for wanton endangerment for firing his gun into apartments. Two other officers involved were not indicted and now members of the grand jury overseeing the case are speaking out about their experience. Earlier in October, one juror accused the Kentucky attorney general of misrepresenting the jury’s deliberations leading to the indictment and more recently another one of the grand jurors who heard evidence in the Taylor probe is speaking out.

Breonna Taylor‘s mother called on President-elect Joe Biden to open a federal investigation into the death of her daughter and other Black people who have been killed by police.

Last Tuesday, Tamika Palmer expressed her desire to see Biden hold police officers accountable. ‘We fought for you. It is now your turn to fight for us,’ says Tamika Palmer.

“Your campaign’s stated commitment to prioritize police accountability prompted so many of us to vote this year,” Palmer explained in the ad. “For many Americans, a vote for you was a vote for Breonna, Jacob Blake, Casey Goodson and so many others who have been failed repeatedly by the criminal justice system under the current administration.”

In a statement released in October one of the jurors stated that the grand jury never received a request to consider murder charges against the Louisville police officers.

 According to The New York Times, “Grand Juror #1” claimed that the grand jury did not agree that Taylor’s fatal shooting was justified.

The anonymous juror is represented by their lawyer Kevin Glogower and claims that the only charge presented was wanton endangerment.

“Questions were asked about the additional charges and the grand jury was told there would be none because the prosecutors didn’t feel they could make them stick,” the statement read. “The grand jury didn’t agree that certain actions were justified, nor did it decide the indictment should be the only charges in the Breonna Taylor case,” the statement adds.

“The grand jury did not have homicide offenses explained to them,” the anonymous juror went onto explain. “The grand jury never heard about those laws. “Self-defense or justification was never explained either.”

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron faced backlash earlier this month after allegations that he misrepresented the facts of what happened at the hearing.

A grand jury member came forward recently and accused the AG Cameron of misrepresenting what happened during the hearing. The juror filed a motion with the courts to release the full transcript of the hearings to the public to provide transparency into what happened in that courtroom.

The attorney for the unnamed juror is arguing that the jurors should be allowed to speak publicly about the proceedings. The attorney, Kevin Glogower, told his client to wait until a court gives permission for the jurors to speak out publicly about the matter. According to The New York Times, a spokeswoman for the AG’s office stated that the officer has no issue with jurors speaking publicly.

“While there are six possible homicide charges under Kentucky law, these charges are not applicable to the facts before us because our investigation showed — and the grand jury agreed — that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in the return of deadly fire after having been fired upon,” Cameron said during a news conference.

However, the anonymous juror has made it known that the jury was never given an option in charging Sgt. Jon Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, who shot and killed Taylor. Cameron only left the jury the option to indict Detective Brett Hankison, who was fired earlier this year.

Cameron originally resisted calls from Louisville’s mayor, Kentucky’s governor, and Taylor’s family’s attorney to release the recording of the proceedings. He eventually caved and agreed to release the recordings to the public.

After months of nationwide outrage and protest, a Kentucky grand jury has indicted one of the police officer involved in Breonna Taylor’s death. Taylor’s death set off nationwide protests against police brutality and the health crisis of unarmed Black people being killed by police.

Over 20 hours of audio recording of the grand jury inquiry into the police killing of Breonna Taylor was released to the public last Friday.

Following pressure from the public, and demands for justice the tapes were released last Friday. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron called the recordings a “complete picture of the events” that took place on the night of her murder. Cameron went onto state that jurors overseeing the case were told that the officers involved had responded in a way that was congruent with police practices.

Among the witness interviews and testimonies heard by the jurors, were statements made by Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker, who told investigators that he had been “scared to death” when he first heard banging on the front door on the night police killed his girlfriend.

According to the tapes, Walker asserted that when he asked who was at the door that night, no one responded. This is despite the fact that the officers claimed that they announced themselves multiple times before breaking down the door.

Other recordings presented to the grand jury, included almost over a dozen of interviews from Taylor’s neighbors about the events that took place. The tapes underscored claims that only one of the neighbors said that they heard the police identify themselves.

In the tapes, Walker asserted that after he and Taylor put their clothes on and left their room Taylor asked: “at the top of her lungs” who was banging on the door. It was then that the officers broke the door down. Walker fired a single shot out of the front door which hit Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly in the leg. “All of a sudden, there’s a whole lot of shots,” Walker claimed. “They’re just shooting, like, we’re both on the ground.” He added, “Next thing I know, she’s on the ground and the door’s busted open and I hear a bunch of yelling and just panicking.” 

One officer involved with Breonna Taylor’s death has been indicted by a grand jury.

The grand jury indicted former police officer Brett Hankison for wanton endangerment for firing his gun into three neighboring apartments. The indictment does not include Hankison firing his weapon into Taylor’s apartment. The two other officers involved with the shooting death of Taylor, Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, were not indicted.

“The result of your action seriously impedes the Department’s goal of providing the citizens of our city with the most professional law enforcement agency possible,” then Police Chief Robert Schroeder wrote when terminating Hankison more than three months after Taylor’s death. “I cannot tolerate this type of conduct by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Your conduct demands your termination.”

Many consider the news a step in the right direction but for many it is not enough.

Taylor, a 26-year-old ER technician, was killed when police executed a no-knock warrant and broke into her home while she was sleeping. The police had the wrong address and opened fire on Taylor when they saw her. Her boyfriend fired his gun in response and was arrested that night. Taylor was killed on March 13, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic that she was helping to combat.

Police in several cities and states are on standby following the decision to monitor the public’s response. Police chiefs in several cities are prepared to unrest as a result of the indictment news.

Updated September 15, 2020.

Seven months after a botched no-knock raid killed 26-year-old EMT worker Breonna Taylor, her family is finally experiencing some sort of reckoning over an event that was utterly inexplicable. This week, her family agreed to a $12 million settlement with the city of Louisville. The settlement also includes a massive change to policing in the city including the mandatory use of body cameras on police raids.

The family’s wrongful death lawsuit is the largest in Louisville’s history. The settlement tops a previous one in 2012 in which a man wrongly convicted of a crime and sent to prison for nine years was awarded $8.5 million.

The settlement does not mean that the open investigation on the shooting, or the potential for criminal charges against the officers involved, is over.

To date, only Brett Hankinson (one out of three officers involved) has been fired. The other two remain on administrative leave.

At a press conference on Tuesday, the Taylor family’s attorney Anita Baker stated that “It’s important for her family to minimize the risk of what happened to Breonna Taylor from happening to any other family in Louisville, Kentucky, and we’re going to continue the fight beyond Louisville.”

Allegations of sexual assault have been raised against Officer Brett Hankison, one of the three white officers accused of fatally shooting Breonna Taylor on March 13.

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency medical technician was an aspiring nurse from Louisville, Ky. She was shot by police when they were taking part in a search warrant at the wrong apartment. The three officers involved in the shooting have not yet been charged with Taylor’s death but it’s Hankison who might be facing additional charges outside of the case.

Allegations against Hankison were raised earlier this summer by two women on social media.

According to People.com, Louisville Metro Police has reached out to the women in regards to their allegations to allow the department’s Public Integrity Unit to “initiate and conduct an investigation.”

Hankinson’s role in the death of Taylor has (along with the murder of George Floyd) sparked protests across the country.

Hankinson and the two other officers ( Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove) involved were placed on administrative leave following her death. It is now up to the department to investigate their actions. Renewed scrutiny of Hankinon’s history as an officer will hopefully influence his case. After all, Hankinson is at the center of an ongoing civil lawsuit in federal court which, according to Courier-Journal accuses “him of unrelated unnecessary arrests and harassment of another man, which Hankison has denied.”

According to Louisville TV station WHAS, in that civil lawsuit, Kendrick Wilson describes Hankison as “a dirty cop with a vendetta.” Hankinson arrested Wilson three times between 2016 and 2018 each time at bars where Hankisonwas employed as off-duty security. In his lawsuit, Wilson alleged that he and Hankinson had interactions outside of those arrests, “including over a relationship with the same woman.”

Margo Borders is one of the woman who accused Hankinson of sexual assault in a post to her Facebook in April 2018.

In April of 2018 I went out to a bar with some friends. I went to call an uber home and a police officer who I had…

Posted by Margo Borders on Thursday, June 4, 2020

“A police officer who I had interacted with on many occasions at bars in St. Matthews offered me a ride home. He drove me home in uniform, in his marked car, invited himself into my apartment and sexually assaulted me while I was unconscious” Borders wrote in her claim. “I never reported him out of fear of retaliation. I had no proof of what happened and he had the upper hand because he was a police officer. Who do you call when the person who assaulted you is a police officer? Who were they going to believe? I knew it wouldn’t be me.” In her claim, Borders accused Hankinson by name.

In the second claim, a woman who identified herself as Emily Terry took to Instagram to report him last fall.

“I began walking home from a bar intoxicated. A police officer pulled up next to me and offered me a ride home. I thought to myself, ‘Wow. That is so nice of him.’ And willingly got in,” she explained. “He began making sexual advances towards me; rubbing my thigh, kissing my forehead, and calling me ‘baby.’ Mortified, I did not move. I continued to talk about my grad school experiences and ignored him. As soon as he pulled up to my apartment building, I got out of the car and ran to the back. My friend reported this the next day, and of course, nothing came from it.”

In response to questions about whether more formal complaints of Hankinson’s sexual harassment or sexual misconduct have been filed, his department said thatt they are still investigating the current complaints.

In a statement to PEOPLE, a spokesperson for the department said “We encourage anyone with direct information about this situation to contact us and share that information with an investigator at (502) 574-7144.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Ecuadorian Sisters, 3 And 5, Dropped By Smugglers From 14 Ft High Mexico-US Border Wall

Things That Matter

Ecuadorian Sisters, 3 And 5, Dropped By Smugglers From 14 Ft High Mexico-US Border Wall

New York Post

A recent video shared by a border patrol agent highlighted a shocking moment of smugglers literally dropping two little girls over a 14-foot high fence in the New Mexico desert. Right in the dead of night.

In the disturbing video, the smugglers can be seen climbing the fence and then dropping the two 5-year-old and 3-year-old sisters to the ground.

El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez shared that the incident occurred “miles from the nearest residence.”

The two little girls (Yareli, 3, and Yasmina, 5) were rescued after agents spotted them during a virtual surveillance sweep. The two sisters are from Ecuador and were dumped by human smugglers at the border wall according to an official.

“[US Immigration officials] need to verify the identity of the parents and confirm they are the parents and make sure they are in good condition to receive the girls,” Magdalena Nunez, of the Consulate of Ecuador in Houston, explained to The New York Post on Thursday. “It’s a process … We’re working to make sure it’s an expedited process and the girls spend as minimal time as possible separated from their parents.”

“Hopefully it can happen soon, in a week or two, but  it can take up to six weeks. We are working to make sure sure it happens as quickly as possible,” she explained before noting that the two sisters are “doing very well.”

“We have been in contact with them and confirmed they are in good health,” Nunez shared. “Physically, they are perfect — emotionally, obviously, they went through a hard time, but I guarantee you right now they are in good health and they are conversing. They are very alert, very intelligent.”

In a statement about the incident, the Ecuadorian consulate confirmed that the two girls had been in touch with their parents, who live in New York City.

“The Ecuadorian Consulate in Houston had a dialogue with the minors and found that they are in good health and that they contacted their parents, who currently live in New York City,” explained the consulate.

In a statement from the girls’ parents sent to Telemundo, the girls’ parents had left their daughters behind at their home in Jaboncillo, Ecuador, to travel to the US. The parents of the two girls have been identified as Yolanda Macas Tene and Diego Vacacela Aguilar. According to the New York Post, “The girls’ grandparents have asked President Biden to reunite the children with their parents. Aguilar paid a human smuggler to take his kids to the border — though the grandparents didn’t know how much they paid.”

“[The parents] wanted to be with them, their mother suffered a lot, for that reason they decided to take them,” paternal grandfather Lauro Vacacela explained in an interview with Univision.

It is still uncertain as to whether or not the girls’ parents are in the country legally.

Photos of the girls showed them having snacks with Agent Gloria Chavez.

“When I visited with these little girls, they were so loving and so talkative, some of them were asking the names of all the agents that were there around them, and they even said they were a little hungry,” Chavez told Fox News. “So I helped them peel a banana and open a juice box and just talked to them. You know, children are just so resilient and I’m so grateful that they’re not severely injured or [have] broken limbs or anything like that.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

She Moved Up The Ranks From Janitor To Nurse Practitioner, Now She’s Viral

Fierce

She Moved Up The Ranks From Janitor To Nurse Practitioner, Now She’s Viral

Talk about a dream fulfilled.

For ten years, Jaines Andrades harbored her desire to move up from her custodial position at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts to nurse. Now, ten years later, as an RN she’s excelled well past her drams.

Andrades worked her way through nursing school while working at Baystate Medical in Springfield, Massachusetts, as a janitor.

Ten years ago, Andrades accepted a position as a custodial staff member at Baystate Medical Center with big dreams of being a nurse. Born to Puerto Rican parents Andrades moved from her family home in Springfield, MA in 2005 when she was 14 years old. From there she and enrolled as a student at Putnam Technical-Vocational Academy with hopes of moving up the ranks as a nurse.

“As I got older and approached graduation I just didn’t see how a little girl like me could ever become a lawyer. I didn’t see it as something that was possible for me, so I got discouraged from the idea,” Andrades explained according to Masslive.com.

That all changed after she struck up a conversation with a nurse during a doctor’s visit for her mother. According to Andrades, the nurse tipped her off on the benefits of nursing. “He told me about the program to become a nurse, and, the more he talked, I just thought, ‘Yeah, I can do this.’ It’s a respectable profession, and I could provide for myself financially, so the idea grew from there.”

Soon after she enrolled at Holyoke Community College, ticked off all of her pre-requisites and a handful of introductory nursing classes. Then, in 2010, she transferred to Elms College.

The same year she transferred, Andrades applied for a job in Baystate’s Environmental Services Department and became a custodian at the hospital.

Facebook

“It’s tough to be the person that cleans. If I had to go back and do it again, I would. It’s so worth it,” Andrades explained in an interview with WBZ-TV.

In a Facebook post, Andrades wrote about her journey from hospital custodian to nurse practitioner and posted a picture of all three of her IDs.

Andrades’ story went viral after she shared her experience to Facebook.

Speaking about her journey from custodian to nurse practitioner, Andrades shared a picture of all three of her IDs.

“Even if it was cleaning, as long as I was near patient care I’d be able to observe things. I thought it was a good idea,” the RN explained in her interview before sharing that her favorite part of being a nurse has been her ability to provide patients with comfort. “I just really love the intimacy with people.”

“Nurses and providers, we get the credit more often but people in environmental and phlebotomy and dietary all of them have such a huge role. I couldn’t do my job without them,” she went onto explain. “I’m so appreciative and like in awe that my story can inspire people,” Andrades told WBZ-TV. “I’m so glad. If I can inspire anyone, that in itself made the journey worth it.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com