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Tucson pastor speaks out following decision on Breonna Taylor case

Posted at 8:41 PM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 01:12:18-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- There has been national outcry Wednesdaynight over the charges, or lack thereof, in the death of Breonna Taylor.

On Wednesday, the Kentucky Grand Jury chose not to indict two officers who shot and killed the woman.

Now we're learning two Louisville officers were shot amid protests over the ruling.

Dr. Damond Holt, a civil rights activist and a Tucson pastor, says the Black community is hurting. He says justice was not served for Breonna Taylor.

“It is a blow to our community,” he told KGUN9.

While the lack of charges was disappointing to him, he says these actions, or lack thereof, were to be expected.

“We’re more surprised when we see an indictment and people are hauled off in cuffs just as the same standard that we hold civilians,” he added.

Dr. Holt says the decision in the Breonna Taylor case is like a slap in the face and assures it’s sending out a hurtful message to the community.

“It’s also traumatizing to our communities because we feel like we can't get safe,” said Dr. Holt.

Though, he assures positive change can come of this and believes it starts with social justice training for law enforcement.

“Racism is bigger than ideology. It is a structure. It is an institution, it is a system that is in place to disenfranchise and marginalize people for generations,” he added.

He also says there needs to be a change in how officers are investigated.

“I think there needs to be independent policy that police officers cannot investigate themselves,” Dr. Holt said.

Here’s his message to a community that finds itself wondering if justice will ever be served:

“Do not faint in the midst of the fight. It’s still not over. There’s a chance that if we make enough noise and do peaceful protests and continue to speak truth to power, there’s been times where cases have been reopened again. But after protesting, you have to start looking at how do we change and impact policies,” he said.