You’ll never convince a cop or a “back the blue” enthusiast that the way police officers go about their duties is wrong and inherently dangerous to the civilians they’re sworn to protect and serve. For example, neither the cases of Breonna Taylor nor Amir Locke seem to have brought cops to glory on the likelihood that breaking down a door in the early hours of the morning after a bare-minimum-at-best effort to announce themselves will end in a tragic and avoidable loss of life.
Of course, the issue is that cops in these situations know it’s not likely they’ll be held criminally accountable no matter what they do because the priority is always their absolute safety. It’s almost as if the entire “blue lives matter” movement is as unnecessary as it is racist because our entire justice system makes it clear that the lives that matter the most are the blue ones.
The family of a Black Georgia woman named Latoya James who was killed during a drug raid has filed a $25 million lawsuit against the Camden County Sheriff’s Office.
From News 4 JAX:
A shooting broke out within seconds after Camden County deputies knocked down the door of Varshan Brown’s darkened home in Woodbine, about 100 miles south of Savannah, just before 5 a.m. on May 4, 2021. The officers had a warrant to search the house for drugs.
Brown’s cousin, 37-year-old Latoya James, was killed by bullets as deputies and Brown fired guns at each other. Brown was wounded and later charged with crimes. Local prosecutors brought no charges against the deputies after concluding they were justified in using deadly force.
In fact, according to Atlanta Black Star, Brown was charged with felony murder in his cousin’s death—along with felony firearm and drug charges—because, under Georgia law, a person commits felony murder if they cause the death of someone “in the commission of a felony.”
In other words, the cops shot James, but that doesn’t matter because they shot her while their suspect was allegedly committing crimes. (This could also be construed as an instance where a law is designed to protect cops at the expense of civilians and ignore the nuance of real-life scenarios, but whatever.
James’ family’s attorneys are arguing that deputies didn’t give Brown enough time to come to the door and that Brown fired his gun thinking a robber had broken into his home.
“You have a video showing these officers reaching this door, not even giving these people time to even open their mouth and answer, ‘Hold on. One second. We coming.’ They didn’t give them a chance to make verbal responses before they kicked down the door,” James’ estate attorney Harry Daniels said in reference to police body camera footage that showed officers announcing themselves shortly before shots rang out.
Daniels also called James “innocent in all aspects of this case” and noted that “there was no subject search warrant related to her.” (Nah, but seriously, this all sounds eerily similar to Breonna Taylor.)
The attorneys also object to Brown being charged with his cousin’s death. After all, he’s not the one who shot her.
“Her death came about as a result of them, you know, forcing their way into the home in the wee hours of the morning and opening fire up before understanding what the scene was,” attorney Reginald Greene said. “And his bullets never touched her. The officers’ bullets are the ones that, you know, penetrated her body and took her life.”
Besides the lawsuit, James’ family is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the 37-year-old’s death