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'Arrest the system:’ Houston activists outraged by Kentucky grand jury decision in Breonna Taylor case

HOUSTON – NAACP Houston Vice President James Dixon II called the “shameful decision" by the Kentucky grand jury in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor a “deplorable misrepresentation” of the criminal justice system.

Dixon said none of the Louisville officers were directly charged in the death of Taylor.

Only one former Louisville officer, Brett Hankison, was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment, which is a class D felony and could carry a penalty of one to five years in prison, for shooting into Taylor’s neighbors' home during the botched raid on March 13.

On Wednesday, the prosecutors said the other two officers, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, who fired their weapons at the Black woman were justified in using force to protect themselves.

“No one has been charged," Dixon said Wednesday during a press conference after the indictment was announced. "No one is being held responsible for the death for Breonna Taylor in this indictment. That gives me chill just to say it.”

Dixon said the facts in the case illustrate “injustice violence and actions" by the officers involved. He said the decision encourages rogue officers to continue these harmful actions, knowing if caught they will not be prosecuted to the full extend of the law.

“This decision released today in Louisville is yet another tragic example that for too many people, too often, Black lives really don’t matter,” Dixon said.

“This is just another sad day in America,” said community activist Deric Muhammad.

Muhammad said he was offended but not surprised by the indictment of the officers involved. He said because the system failed to provide justice for Taylor, therefore the system must be arrested.

“Arrest the system, which refuse to arrest the killers of Breonna Taylor,” he said.

Juli Mcshay, a social activist for the NAACP Houston branch, reminded residents that voting is a requirement in the pursuit of social and civil rights.

“You cannot afford not to vote,” Mcshay said. “You cannot afford not to say voting won’t change anything. Because when we don’t vote, when we don’t run for office, when we are well qualified and well knowledgeable: this is how these things happen.”

How to register to vote?

Saturday, Sept. 26

Address: Worthing High School

9215 Scott St, Houston, TX 77051

Address: The Community of Faith Church

1024 Pinemont Dr, Houston, TX 77091

Important election dates

  • Last day to register to vote is October 5
  • Early voting is October 13 to October 30
  • Election Day is November 3

Here is the full press conference from the NAACP Houston:

NAACP Houston on Breonna Taylor case

NAACP Houston Branch discusses the Kentucky grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor case READ MORE: https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2020/09/23/naacp-houston-to-discuss-the-kentucky-grand-jury-decision-in-the-breonna-taylor-case/

Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The NAACP released the following statement regarding Louisville city official’s decision to indict one police officer in connection with the murder of Breonna Taylor:

The injustice we’re witnessing at this moment can be sensed throughout the nation. Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s failure to bring substantial charges against the officers who murdered Breonna Taylor causes angst and pain for far too many Americans still reeling from a pandemic. The charges of wanton endangerment in connection with the murder of Breonna Taylor does not go far enough and is a miscarriage of justice for her family and the people of Louisville. Atrocities committed against the people of this country by the authorities cannot and should not go unanswered when miscalculations are made. The continuous and blatant failure of a system sworn to protect the very citizens it endangers is all too telling of its efficiency and viability.

The justice system failed Breonna Taylor and, as such, failed us. From the officers' ill-informed conduct to the city official’s delayed response, their actions have discredited their pledge and responsibility to the greater community. It is unacceptable that, once again, culpability has eluded those guilty of state-sanctioned murder.

In this case, and countless others, we must ask ourselves and those elected to serve, “Who is responsible for this system and its outcomes?” We must demand that our system of justice holds people working within it accountable. Black lives cannot continue to be considered collateral damage in these instances. The recent announcement of one indictment against the police officer Brett Hankison proves city officials believe otherwise.

This devastating blow to the community of Louisville and the nation is heart-wrenching. Our efforts to realize justice for Breonna Taylor should be redirected to bring attention to the faulty and burdensome justice system that compromises our society’s moral and humane fabric. Our course of action is to vote and make it abundantly clear that we will not tolerate the injustice we’re observing. Far too many Black lives have been lost due to the egregious malpractice of police officers, elected officials, and the justice system as a whole. We must press forward in our pursuit of dismantling oppressive ideologies that plague our country so we can reach parity and equity on all fronts.


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