One of Three Louisville Police Officers in Breonna Taylor Shooting to Be Fired
- Louisville’s Mayor announced that the city’s police department was “initiating termination procedures” against Brett Hankison, one of the three officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor.
- In a pre-termination letter, Police Chief Rob Schroeder said Hankison violated standard procedures and “displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he “blindly” fired ten rounds into Taylor’s apartment.
- Schroeder also noted that Hankison had been disciplined last year for “reckless conduct that injured an innocent person.”
- Though not mentioned in the letter, Hankison is also the subject of a separate investigation involving multiple allegations of sexual assault.
Mayor Announces Termination
Brett Hankison, one of the three Louisville Metro Police officers involved in the shooting and killing of Breonna Taylor, is being fired, Mayor Greg Fischer said Friday.
A statement from the mayor’s office said that Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) Chief Rob Schroeder had begun “initiating termination procedures” against Hankison.
“Unfortunately, due to a provision in state law that I very much would like to see changed, both the Chief and I are precluded from talking about what brought us to this moment, or even the timing of this decision,” the statement said.
Taylor was killed inside her apartment on March 13 after Hankison, along with Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove, entered by force with a no-knock warrant and shot her at least eight times.
Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired at the officers whom he reportedly believed were intruders. The police fired back, killing Taylor. Walker later told investigators the officers failed to announce themselves after he and Taylor asked repeatedly who was at the door.
The no-knock warrant did not require the police to announce themselves, but the officers claimed they did so anyway before using a battering ram to open the door. Taylor’s family and multiple neighbors have disputed that claim.
The warrant in question pertained to a narcotics investigation that involved two men who police believed had used Taylor’s apartment to receive packages. Neither Taylor nor Walker had any prior drug arrests or convictions, and no drugs were found in the apartment.
Taylor’s death has led to nationwide protests and increasing calls for action to be taken against the officers who killed her. No charges have been filed, and Mattingly and Cosgrove have been placed on administrative reassignment.
Hakison’s pending termination represents the most significant action taken to date against the officers involved in Taylor’s death.
In a pre-termination letter sent to Hankison Friday, LMPD Chief Schroeder said that the officer violated standard operating procedures regarding obedience to rules and regulations.
“I have determined you violated Standard Operating Procedure […] when your actions displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life when you wantonly and blindly fired ten (10) rounds into the apartment of Breonna Taylor,” he wrote.
He added that the rounds created “substantial danger of death and serious injury” to Taylor and three occupants in the apartment next door.
Schroeder also said that Hankison violated standard operating procedures pertaining to the use of deadly force when he fired into Taylor’s apartment “without supporting facts that your deadly force was directed at a person against whom posed an immediate threat of danger or serious injury to yourself or others.”
“I find your conduct a shock to the conscience. I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion,” the letter continued. “I have the utmost confidence in my decision to terminate your employment for the best interest for the Louisville Metro Police Department and our community.”
Along with this, Schroeder noted that Hankison had been previously disciplined in January 2019 for “reckless conduct that injured an innocent person.”
In recent weeks, Hankison has also been accused of sexual assault by multiple women in now-viral social media posts. The allegations, which are all similar, claim that he offered to drive intoxicated women home from bars then sexually assaulted them.
Though not mentioned in Schroeder’s letter, the LMPD Integrity Unit is already investigating the allegation against Hankison, and last week, Mayor Fischer ordered that the investigation be expanded.
See what others are saying: (USA Today) (WDRB) (ABC News)
White Supremacist Propaganda Reached Record High in 2022, ADL Finds
“We cannot sit idly by as these extremists pollute our communities with their hateful trash,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.
White supremacist propaganda in the U.S. reached record levels in 2022, according to a report published Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center of Extremism.
The ADL found over 6,700 cases of white supremacist propaganda in 2022, which marks a 38% jump from the nearly 4,900 cases the group found in 2021. It also represents the highest number of incidents ever recorded by the ADL.
The propaganda tallied by the anti-hate organization includes the distribution of racist, antisemitic, and homophobic flyers, banners, graffiti, and more. This propaganda has spread substantially since 2018, when the ADL found just over 1,200 incidents.
“There’s no question that white supremacists and antisemites are trying to terrorize and harass Americans with their propaganda,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “We cannot sit idly by as these extremists pollute our communities with their hateful trash.”
The report found that there were at least 50 white supremacist groups behind the spread of propaganda in 2022, but 93% of it came from just three groups. One of those groups was also responsible for 43% of the white supremacist events that took place last year.
White supremacist events saw a startling uptick of their own, with the ADL documenting at least 167, a 55% jump from 2021.
Propaganda was found in every U.S. state except for Hawaii, and events were documented in 33 states, most heavily in Massachusetts, California, Ohio, and Florida.
“The sheer volume of white supremacist propaganda distributions we are documenting around the country is alarming and dangerous,” Oren Segal, Vice President of the ADL’s Center on Extremism said in a statement. “Hardly a day goes by without communities being targeted by these coordinated, hateful actions, which are designed to sow anxiety and create fear.”
“We need a whole-of-society approach to combat this activity, including elected officials, community leaders, and people of good faith coming together and condemning this activity forcefully,” Segal continued.
See what others are saying: (Axios) (The Hill) (The New York Times)
Adidas Financial Woes Continue, Company on Track for First Annual Loss in Decades
Adidas has labeled 2023 a “transition year” for the company.
Adidas’ split with musician Kanye West has left the company with financial problems due to surplus Yeezy products, putting the sportswear giant in the position to potentially suffer its first annual loss in over 30 years.
Adidas dropped West last year after he made a series of antisemitic remarks on social media and other broadcasts. His Yeezy line was a staple for Adidas, and the surplus product is due, in part, to the brand’s own decision to continue production during the split.
According to CEO Bjorn Gulden, Adidas continued production of only the items already in the pipeline to prevent thousands of people from losing their jobs. However, that has led to the unfortunate overabundance of Yeezy sneakers and clothes.
On Wednesday, Gulden said that selling the shoes and donating the proceeds makes more sense than giving them away due to the Yeezy resale market — which has reportedly shot up 30% since October.
“If we sell it, I promise that the people who have been hurt by this will also get something good out of this,” Gulden said in a statement to the press.
However, Gulden also said that West is entitled to a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Yeezys per his royalty agreement.
Adidas announced in February that, following its divergence from West, it is facing potential sales losses totaling around $1.2 billion and profit losses of around $500 million.
If it decides to not sell any more Yeezy products, Adidas is facing a projected annual loss of over $700 million.
Outside of West, Adidas has taken several heavy profit blows recently. Its operating profit reportedly fell by 66% last year, a total of more than $700 million. It also pulled out of Russia after the country’s invasion of Ukraine last year, which cost Adidas nearly $60 million dollars. Additionally, China’s “Zero Covid” lockdowns last year caused in part a 36% drop in revenue for Adidas compared to years prior.
As a step towards a solution, Gulden announced that the company is slashing its dividends from 3.30 euros to 0.70 euro cents per share pending shareholder approval.
Adidas has labeled 2023 a “transition year” for the company.
“Adidas has all the ingredients to be successful. But we need to put our focus back on our core: product, consumers, retail partners, and athletes,” Gulden said. “I am convinced that over time we will make Adidas shine again. But we need some time.”
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (CNN)
Immigration Could Be A Solution to Nursing Home Labor Shortages
98% of nursing homes in the United States are experiencing difficulty hiring staff.
The Labor Crisis
A recent National Bureau of Economic Research paper has offered up a solution to the nursing home labor shortage: immigration.
According to a 2022 American Health Care Association survey, six in ten nursing homes are limiting new patients due to staffing issues. The survey also says that 87% of nursing homes have staffing shortages and 98% are experiencing difficulty hiring.
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) outlined in their paper that increased immigration could help solve the labor shortage in nursing homes. Immigrants make up 19% of nursing home workers.
With every 10% increase in female immigration, nursing assistant hours go up by 0.7% and registered nursing hours go up by 1.1% And with that same immigration increase, short-term hospitalizations of nursing home residents go down by 0.6%.
Additionally, the State Department issued 145% more EB-3 documents, which are employment-based visas, for healthcare workers in the 2022 fiscal year than in 2019, suggesting that more people are coming to the U.S. to work in health care.
However, according to Skilled Nursing News, in August of 2022, the approval process from beginning to end for an RN can take between seven to nine months.
Displeasure about immigration has exploded since Pres. Joe Biden took office in 2021. According to a Gallup study published in February, around 40% of American adults want to see immigration decrease. That is a steep jump from 19% in 2021, and it is the highest the figure has been since 2016.
However, more than half of Democrats still are satisfied with immigration and want to see it increased. But with a divided Congress, the likelihood of any substantial immigration change happening is pretty slim.