Trevor Noah devoted a segment of Thursday’s “Daily Show” to the death of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old EMT from Louisville, Kentucky who was killed in her home by police on March 13. “I want to remind people and inform people on the story of Breonna Taylor, not as a slogan or a post on your social media feed but as a human being,” he opened the segment.
“For 26 years, Breonna Taylor lived her life to the fullest, then on a random night, the Louisville Police Department turned her into a statistic,” Noah said.
In documentation previously obtained by the Louisville Courier-Journal, police were authorized to carry out a “no-knock” warrant on Taylor’s Louisville, Kentucky, home on March 13 as part of a narcotics investigation on a home ten miles away. Neither Taylor nor her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were the investigation's target. Police had suspected, though, that Taylor’s home was used to receive drugs.
Authorities said they identified themselves despite the “no-knock” warrant. Police said the officers were “immediately” met by gunfire when they entered Taylor and Walker's home. At that point, they said, they returned fire.
Noah defended Walker for how he defended himself and Taylor against people shooting into their apartment before learning it was the police.
Walker told police later on that he purposely pointed his gun to the ground when it struck Sgt. John Mattingly in the leg.
“For anyone who has the audacity to blame Breonna’s boyfriend for shooting at the cops, please answer me this question -- if America tells people to get a gun to defend themselves from intruders, but the cops are the intruders breaking down the door without knocking, what are you supposed to do?” Noah asked on his show.
“To an innocent person, there is zero difference between a no-knock raid and a home invasion. If someone busts down your door in the middle of the night, you are going to think they are intruders not that ‘oh, the cops are here!’ or ‘oh, damn! Uber Eats is coming in hot tonight!'” he quipped.
Louisville Police Chief later said that one of the cops, Officer Brett Hankison, “blindly” fired his gun where it struck several parts of the apartment as well as neighbors’ homes.
“Everytime I hear a story about a police shooting, I am always shocked at how badly trained and not in control the police seem,” Noah said on his show. “Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend was lying in bed, heard his door get smashed in, grabbed his legal firearm, and had the presence of mind to try and injure the intruder by aiming down. But the cops, who are supposed to be trained professionals, they burst in like they get paid by the bullets.”
Walker called 911 during the ordeal and he was informed he'd shot an officer. He was initially charged with attempted murder, but the charges were later dropped after he said he shot in self-defense, thinking he and Taylor were victims of a home invasion.
“These cops blatantly ignored so many protocols and so much information that at some point it moves from a mistake to actively not giving a f***,” Noah said.
In the wake of Taylor's death, the city has banned "no-knock" warrants.
Noah said that the “no-knock” raids should be called “a home invasion where police get to act like they are in a video game.”
In June, Hankison was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department. He is currently contesting his termination. Officers Myles Cosgrove and John Mattingly have been reassigned. None of the officers have been arrested or charged in Taylor’s death.
“What happened to Breonna Taylor wasn’t a failure of the system," Noah said. "It was the system working as intended.”