The Police Called Breonna Taylor a ‘Soft Target.’ She Wasn’t the First.

Since before this country’s founding, Black women have been treated as vulnerable—and disposable

Ameer Hasan Loggins, Ph.D
LEVEL
Published in
6 min readAug 3, 2020

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Protest signs in Brooklyn, New York on July 25, 2020. Photo: Ira L. Black — Corbis/Getty Images

12:38 a.m. was the last peaceful minute of Breonna Taylor’s life.

On March 13, 2020, at 12:38 a.m., Breonna Taylor and her partner, Kenneth Walker, were asleep in bed. At 12:39 a.m., officers beat on her door for approximately one minute. During that 59 seconds of banging, Taylor shouted at the top of her lungs: “Who is it?” But no one said a word. “No answer,” Walker said later in a police interrogation. “No response. No anything.” The boogeymen kept beating. At 12:40 a.m., Louisville Metro Police Department Officers Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison as well as Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly — all in plain clothes — shattered the forest green front door of Breonna Taylor’s apartment with a battering ram.

The police blindly shot over 20 rounds of bullets into Breonna’s home. Eight of those bullets found their way into Breonna’s Black body, killing her.

Roughly two weeks later, Mattingly spoke with Louisville Police internal investigators. During that conversation, he said that officers had been told that Taylor’s ground floor apartment was a “soft target” — and that Taylor too was a soft target…

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Ameer Hasan Loggins, Ph.D
LEVEL
Writer for

I write what I feel needs to be written. That you’re reading my work is a bonus.