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  • -Good evening and welcome to "The Tonight Show."

  • Today, the Kentucky grand jury announced their decision

  • regarding the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor six months ago.

  • Obviously, this is a very emotional time,

  • a very difficult time,

  • so tonight, we'd like to start the show

  • by speaking to our first guest about today's news

  • and what it means for our country.

  • We're so grateful to have her join us tonight.

  • Please welcome from MSNBC Joy Reid.

  • Joy, thank you for coming on and talking to me tonight.

  • A decision in the Breonna Taylor murder case

  • came in today,

  • and I wanted to get your thoughts on that.

  • Can we first talk a little bit about who Breonna Taylor was?

  • She was an EMT. She was an aspiring nurse.

  • -She was only 26 years old.

  • You know, this is, you know, the woman

  • in the Black Lives Matter kind of panoply

  • of people who've been killed by police.

  • And she was the last one, really, to be spoken about,

  • which, for a lot of black women, was really grating that,

  • you know, everyone was following the George Floyd case

  • and all of these other cases

  • and Ahmaud Arbery and everything else.

  • But, you know, here was this 26-year-old EMT,

  • who was serving her community, who had this, you know,

  • all these aspirations and dreams and was her sister's best friend

  • and had really, like, changed her life

  • and found a career that she loved,

  • found a man that she loved,

  • and then she was just cut down in her apartment.

  • So basically, Breonna was asleep,

  • according to her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker,

  • and then they just heard a noise.

  • They heard somebody break in, or at least he did.

  • The facts as put together are partly --

  • they partly come from his call to her mom

  • saying somebody broke in and shot Breonna,

  • which indicates that he didn't know that it was police.

  • And because Kentucky is an open carry state

  • and he is a licensed, you know, firearms carrier,

  • he took out his gun to defend his girlfriend and himself

  • from what he thought were intruders.

  • He fired a shot, and the three police officers

  • who had come to -- they're calling it --

  • they're saying it was not a no-knock warrant

  • because they're claiming that they knocked

  • and they said that it was police,

  • but you have to remember, Jimmy, this was about 12:30 a.m.

  • So this is when most people are asleep.

  • -Wow. -And so these officers burst in,

  • and then they start shooting.

  • They say that they shot in self-defense

  • because Kenneth Walker shot at them,

  • but, again, he shot at an intruder.

  • The police fire back.

  • One of the officers, the one who was charged today,

  • just starts shooting.

  • He doesn't even come into the apartment,

  • and those bullets spray everywhere.

  • They spray into other apartments.

  • Some bullets are lodged into other apartments.

  • And after Breonna is hit five or six times --

  • that's been a matter of dispute --

  • Mr. Walker is not hit at all.

  • He calls the mom and says, "Someone's shot Breonna."

  • Breonna Taylor dies.

  • And then we just have these series of actions

  • that are extremely questionable.

  • Action number one is no action.

  • No one tries to help Breonna.

  • She's laying on the floor.

  • She is not the target of any investigation.

  • She's committed no crime.

  • She's bleeding on the floor.

  • No one renders aid.

  • Police -- they start, you know,

  • getting their own stories together.

  • Action number two -- later on, not long after that,

  • the boyfriend is actually charged with a crime.

  • They try to charge Kenneth Walker

  • with attempting to assault the police officers

  • for shooting back -- for shooting toward them

  • and injuring one of them in the leg.

  • They eventually drop those charges

  • because of the public outrage that says,

  • you've got to be kidding.

  • And action number three --

  • the person that they say they were investigating --

  • his name is Jamarcus Glover --

  • he's the ex-boyfriend of Breonna Taylor.

  • He was in custody already on the night of this raid.

  • He'd already been arrested.

  • So they weren't going there to look for them.

  • They say they were investigating drug deals he was involved in,

  • and they try to get him --

  • somebody who is already incarcerated --

  • and they say, "We'll let you out.

  • We'll give you a break, but you need to say

  • that Breonna Taylor was involved in your drug ring.

  • You say that, we'll let you out."

  • And don't ever say there's no honor among thieves.

  • There is a lot more honor, I think,

  • that was in that jail cell than there was among the police

  • because he said, "I'm not doing that.

  • I'm not implicating Breonna in a crime.

  • She was not involved in anything that I was involved in.

  • She had nothing to do with it."

  • They weren't even dating anymore.

  • -Wow. -So I think what you have is

  • a police department that allows these officers to go in

  • to try to search this apartment,

  • which they're claiming that the ex-boyfriend

  • used to use as a previous address --

  • he had listed it as his address.

  • And so that gives them the right to bust in and start shooting,

  • and today,

  • what the Attorney General, Daniel Cameron said is,

  • "Everything that happened regarding the shooting

  • was perfectly legal."

  • Coming in at 12:30 in the morning,

  • shooting Breonna Taylor six times

  • while she's in her bed,

  • shooting at her boyfriend, and then shooting back at him,

  • because he's in his castle trying to defend it,

  • and all of that is fine -- not rendering aid is all fine.

  • The only thing that was illegal was Officer Hankison didn't aim,

  • and because he didn't aim

  • and shoot Breonna Taylor with good aim

  • and he shot around

  • and put bullets into three other people's apartments,

  • he is guilty of endangering the lives

  • of the people in the other apartments.

  • So today what we saw was nothing regarding Breonna Taylor.

  • No crimes were committed,

  • according to the Attorney General.

  • The only crimes that were committed were minor crimes

  • of endangering the neighbors.

  • -And normally, don't the police officers have cameras on them

  • or some audio of what has happened?

  • -Yes, normally, police officers

  • are supposed to have body cameras on.

  • None of them had their body cameras on.

  • They have not been fired for that.

  • They have not -- There's been nothing.

  • Literally, these officers are free and clear,

  • as if everything they did was fine.

  • They came in without body cameras.

  • This warrant is a suspect thing,

  • which now the Attorney General has said,

  • "We're going to pass all of that on to the feds.

  • Let the feds deal with how the warrant came through.

  • Let the feds deal with the fact that you're raiding an apartment

  • at 12:30 a.m.

  • Let the feds deal with the shooting of Breonna Taylor.

  • What we're going to say is that these officers,"

  • in the minds of the Attorney General

  • and this grand jury,

  • who, again, were led by the Attorney General.

  • I've been on a grand jury.

  • The, you know, The prosecutor leads you

  • where they want you to go.

  • What this prosecutor has essentially said

  • is there's nothing wrong

  • with these police officers having killed this woman

  • and having done it without their body cameras on.

  • -And according to him, does that end here?

  • -It ends here from the point of view

  • of Breonna Taylor's death.

  • There will be no prosecution of these police officers for that.

  • If there are going to be any further actions taken

  • against these three officers,

  • it would have to be at the federal level.

  • It would be something on the order

  • of a civil rights violation.

  • But here's the problem --

  • the head of the Justice Department right now

  • is William Barr,

  • and he's already said quite clearly

  • that he believes Black Lives Matter

  • is some sort of an insurgency

  • or some sort of terrorist outfit.

  • And he doesn't believe that

  • black people have any reason to be angry

  • with the way that our families and our sons

  • and our moms and our sisters, our police,

  • that black people have no standing with him.

  • So there's zero chance

  • that William Barr's Justice Department

  • is going to do anything.

  • So I think the only thing that has now happened for this family

  • is there's been a settlement.

  • You know, the city of Louisville is going to pay them

  • a bunch of money,

  • but that happens all over the country.

  • You know, there's always a settlement.

  • This is part of the cost of policing.

  • It's built into the budget.

  • They'd rather settle than give justice to the families.

  • -You've been covering this closely.

  • Are you surprised by this decision?

  • -Nope. I'm not.

  • I've been covering, you know, Black Lives Matter

  • since the Trayvon Martin case. -Oof.

  • -And the only time that I've ever been surprised

  • was in the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore

  • when they were charged.

  • The surprise is when there are charges,

  • and that's only because Marilyn Mosby,

  • who's the Attorney General in Maryland --

  • she's just a different kind of attorney.

  • She believes that

  • the families have equal standing to the police,

  • and she's paid heavily for that.

  • You know, the war against her,

  • the political war to unseat her and take her down

  • because she dared to prosecute police,

  • you know, shows you, and I think,

  • is a lesson to every other --

  • a message to every other prosecutor.

  • The police are very much protected.

  • Their unions are the last union standing.

  • They're the most powerful union in America.

  • They're untouchable almost in these cities.

  • They eat up 20%, 30%, 40% of the budgets,

  • and built into that is the idea that taxpayers will just pay out

  • any families of the people killed

  • and that there will never be justice

  • because the system is designed

  • for their good friends in the prosecutor's office

  • to decide if their good friends in the police department

  • have done anything wrong.

  • You'll never get prosecutions that way.

  • -Has anyone heard from the family of Breonna Taylor?

  • -So, you know, I've been in touch with Ben Crump,

  • who represents the family,

  • but he's actually flying, you know, back and forth today.

  • He's heading to Louisville.

  • So I haven't been able to get from him what the reactions are,

  • but I can anticipate deep disappointment.

  • Attorney General Cameron says that he called the family today.

  • I can't imagine what that call could have been like

  • because I think everyone who's watched his career --

  • He's a -- You know, he's an associate of Mitch McConnell.

  • He was his guy.

  • I don't think anybody who's been paying attention to him

  • or to the way the criminal justice system works

  • thinks that this would have been a --