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Breonna Taylor and Perpetual Black Trauma

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I filed this column late. Very late. I couldn’t find the words — an unsettling experience for a writer. The words I did conjure failed, not because the message was difficult to convey, but rather because the conveyance is maddeningly depressive in repetition.

The killing of Breonna Taylor reveals yet again how easy it is for the state to take a Black life and how hard it is to hold the state accountable for its transgression. That is in part because the system is designed to make it nearly impossible for the state to transgress.

Taylor was an innocent woman, sleeping in her own home, breaking no law. The state broke down her door and shot her dead.

Most of what the state did in her home that night was in fact, outrageously, legal. According to the state attorney general, the officers who shot her were justified in using lethal force because her boyfriend, believing that people were breaking into the house to harm him and Taylor, deigned to defend himself by shooting at the intruders.

That, according to the state, allowed the officers to then act in self-defense. But here’s the problem: The bullets went into Taylor, not her boyfriend. How can you justify killing........

© The New York Times

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