Justice for Breonna Taylor means justice for Kenneth Walker Jr.
My son’s favorite ancestor is Harriet Tubman. In his school report, he said “she helped get a lot of Black people away from where racist people controlled them to a different place where racist people were not allowed to control them as much. I would protect her if she was alive today because she is important.” I hope I’ve taught my son that Black women are important and worthy of protection. These schools and police departments and jobs don’t value us, but we have Black men who cherish us.
Do Black people get to claim self defense?
When Harriet Tubman had her rifle out ready to shoot any slave catcher that threatened the lives of enslaved Black folks, she would have been acting in self defense if she shot one of them. But apparently, self defense is only reserved for white folks. Remember when Marissa Alexander spent years in prison for protecting herself? As a Black woman who stood her ground, she was treated much more harshly than Trayvon’s Martin’s killer–a racist man who didn’t even get arrested the night he murdered an unarmed child. When white people shoot someone to protect themselves, it’s self defense. When Black folks do the same thing, it’s attempted murder.
We can argue all day about the problems between Black men and women, (as well as our gender nonconforming folks). In this instance, however, it is imperative that we celebrate Black men who stand up for Black women. Kenneth Walker protected a Black woman, but in a world where her killers’ comfort is more valuable than her Black life, Kenneth is seen as a criminal.
A few years ago when actor and philanthropist Kobi Siriboe celebrated his mother and the beauty on Black women on twitter, he was immediately criticized by white followers. Rather than backing down, Kofi doubled down on his love for us.
Kenneth Walker Jr. went even further to protect a Black woman.
I couldn’t save Breonna Taylor, but maybe we can save Kenneth Walker.
When I first wrote about Breonna Taylor, I went through it. Like a lot of other people here in Louisville, we are tired of gentrification and empty promises by government officials. We are sick of (and from) the environmental racism and pollution and food deserts. We are out here working one, two, sometimes three jobs to live despite the fact that, in the majority Black West End of this city, Black life expectancy is 12 years shorter than white folks in the more affluent parts of town.
The charges should be dropped immediately and he deserves reparations for all that he endured. #FreeKenny
Look, Kenneth Walker risked his life to defend himself AND Breonna Taylor. Despite the fact that three white men murdered an unarmed Black woman and have served ZERO time in jail, Kenneth Walker Jr. was arrested by the criminals who murdered his girlfriend.
If you haven’t read up on the situation, here is what happened.
- Plainclothes officers burst into the home of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY with a battering ram
- Since they did not announce themselves, Kenneth thought they were breaking in and tried to defend himself along with Breonna
- #BrettMylesandJon responded by firing 20 rounds into the apartment, 8 of which hit and killed Breonna Taylor.
- They found no drugs and no evidence of a crime
- They were not wearing body cameras
Thankfully, one of Taji’s heroes Judge Olu Stevens advocated for home incarceration instead of jail time. Of course, the police are big mad.
Since Kenneth’s release home, the case has received national attention. Because of local Black activists like Chanelle Helm of Black Lives Matter Louisville and others, there have been protests and demands. The family and their supporters are asking that all charges get dropped.
After receiving hundreds of calls, emails, and inquiries Commonwealth attorney Thomas Wine recused himself. The case was handed over to Daniel Cameron, the first Black state’s attorney in Kentucky’s history.
Known racist police chief Steve Conrad announced his retirement (not resignation or termination unfortunately) following similar protests and demands. While I am happy that he will no longer be the police chief, I am left with questions. Does he get a severance package? If so, how much of my tax dollars will pay for that? Will Breonna’s murder be anywhere on his record? How much is his pension? Is it worth the effort to hold him accountable after he retires?
The central theme in all this is about our ability (and willingness) to protect Black folks. We have made strides in the original demands. Getting those charges dropped for Kenneth Walker is the next step.
How do we protect these Black men?
Judge Olu Stevens is almost always under attack by the FOP and other #BlueLivesMatter racists. Brother Kenneth’s next court date is June 25th. I pray that we can keep them both safe until then.
“The killing of Breonna Taylor, the filing of criminal charges against her partner Kenneth Walker, and the attacks by the Fraternal Order of Police on Judge Olu Stevens for calling out police misconduct, all reflect a criminal justice system that targets communities of color and the poor,” said Stephen Bartlett of Louisville SURJ. “We cannot sit by and allow this state of affairs to continue.”A Message From Black Lives Matter Louisville
#FreeKenny #DropAllCharges #FreeKenny #JusticeForKennethWalker #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor #BlackLivesMatter #SayHerName #BrettMylesandJon are murderers. #BrettMylesandJon killed an unarmed Black woman. #BrettMylesandJon should be in prison. #BreonnaShouldBeAlive. #DropTheCharges against Kennth Walker Jr.