Louisville police officer blasted 'woke' BLM, Antifa as 'punks' in email to colleagues — and then was relieved of her command



A Louisville Metropolitan Police Department officer is under investigation for an email she sent in August to her colleagues, dismissing Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists as "punks" unworthy of their attention and respect, NBC News reported.

LMPD Maj. Bridget Hallahan sent the email to the department's Fifth Division, which she leads. Interim Chief Robert Schroeder told NBC News on Friday that Hallahan had been relieved of her command of the division.

Hallahan is set to retire effective Oct. 1.

"I know it is hard to keep our thoughts and opinions to ourselves sometimes, especially when we, as a whole or as an individual, become the target of people in the public who criticize what we do without even knowing the facts," Hallahan wrote. "These ANTIFA and BLM people, especially the ones who just jumped on the bandwagon 'yesterday' because they became 'woke' (insert eye roll here), do not deserve a second glance or thought from us.

"Our little pinky toe nails have more character, morals, and ethics, than these punks have in their entire body," she continued. "Do not stoop to their level. Do not respond to them. If we do, we only validate what they did. Don't make them important, because they are not. They will be the ones washing our cars, cashing us out at the Walmart, or living in their parents' basement playing COD ["Call of Duty"] for their entire life."

How frustrated is @LMPD?A law enforcement source got me this August message from Maj. Bridget Hallahan to 5th Div… https://t.co/8zyoxedxqA
— Philmonger (@Philmonger)1600825430.0

Hallahan went on to invite her colleagues to come to her if they needed to vent about their problems.

Hallahan's frustrated message was sent to her coworkers after months of anti-police protests in Louisville because of the killing of Breonna Taylor in March. Protesters wanted the three police officers charged for Taylor's death, and some wanted the defunding or abolition of the police department.

Ultimately, only one of the three officers was charged in relation to the raid on Taylor's home. Former Sgt. Brett Hankison was charged with wanton endangerment for recklessly shooting into the apartment building, the same offense for which he was fired from the department in June.

LMPD spokesman Sgt. Lamont Washington said the department was aware of the email and looking further into the matter. Schroeder emphasized that the content represented Hallahan's opinion, and "do not represent the views of their department."

Hallahan accepted responsibility for the email and stood by it, telling NBC News her fellow officers have been supportive.

Louisiana 4th grader suspended because BB gun was visible during virtual class session



A fourth grader in Louisiana was suspended from school and nearly expelled after his BB gun was seen on camera during a virtual class session, according to the New Orleans Advocate.

Ka Mauri Harrison, 9, was participating in a virtual class session with his Woodmere Elementary classmates. He was on the computer in his bedroom.

Ka Mauri's younger brother entered the room and tripped over the BB gun while Ka Mauri was taking an English test. Ka Mauri leaned over and grabbed the BB gun and moved it away from his brother, next to his chair — and within view of his computer's camera.

Ka Mauri was disconnected from the virtual class session minutes later. He had the computer muted during the test, so he hadn't heard his teacher and didn't know why he was kicked out of the class. The school called his parents and informed them of the suspension.

"Ka Mauri presented a weapon that appeared to be a rifle/shotgun during his Google Meets classroom session," the behavior report said. "This is a violation of weapons in the classroom setting and a violation of the internet usage policy. He will be recommended for expulsion as per JPPSS policy."

The school opted not to expel him, but suspended him for six days, citing the violation as "displaying a facsimile weapon while receiving virtual instruction."

Ka Mauri's family is considering legal action against the school system, after their appeal of the suspension was rejected. Their attorney, Chelsea Cusimano, told the Advocate, "It's not ending here. It's our intent to explore further options.."

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced that the state Department of Justice would open an investigation into the incident, citing a possible constitutional infringement.

"I am alarmed by what appears to not only be multiple violations of both the State and Federal Constitutions, but also blatant government overreach by the school system," Landry said in a news release. "I have begun investigating this matter and plan to take action in defense of this young man and his family and all families who could suffer the same invasion of their homes and constitutional rights.

"For anyone to conclude that a student's home is now school property because of connectivity through video conferencing is absurd," the statement continued. "It is ludicrous for this All-American kid to be punished for taking responsible actions just as it is for his parents to be accused of neglect."

4th grader in Louisiana suspended when he picks up BB gun during virtual class youtu.be

Commentary: The grand jury made the right decision in Breonna Taylor’s death. And that’s the problem.



Protesters predictably took to the streets in anger after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced the charges against former Louisville Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Brett Hankison on Wednesday.

Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment. It's a felony charge, but it has nothing to do with the fact that the officers shot and killed Breonna Taylor in her home during an overnight raid. Hankison was charged because he recklessly shot into the building and surrounding apartments. The two other officers involved were not charged at all.

Legally, it was probably the right call. And that's the problem. That's why it's so frustrating.

Taylor was suspected to be connected to her ex-boyfriend's drug trafficking activity. So the police had a warrant that legally allowed them to break into Taylor's apartment after midnight on March 13. The warrant didn't require them to knock, although Cameron claims they did.

Kenneth Walker, Taylor's boyfriend, was also in the apartment. He was a legal gun owner. When men, not in uniform, broke in the apartment in the middle of the night, he did what almost anyone with a gun might do — he used that gun to defend himself, his loved one, and their property from aggressors.

He didn't know he was shooting at cops. He thought it was a home invasion. Which is, by the way, an exceedingly reasonable thought to have when someone suddenly begins beating down your door in the middle of the night.

So in the heat of the moment, Walker fired one shot, which hit one of the officers in the leg. The officers then sprayed roughly two dozen bullets into and around the apartment, with six of them hitting Taylor. Walker was left inside to call 911, sobbing inconsolably, as he called for help for his dying girlfriend and tried to make sense of what had just happened.

AUDIO: 911 call from Kenneth Walker night Breonna Taylor died youtu.be

Once Walker fired that shot, the officers were legally enabled to use deadly force against Taylor and Walker. Every one of those 20+ bullets was legally justified because of Walker's one shot.

Breonna Taylor was not a violent criminal. At this point, there's no proof that she's a criminal at all. Police didn't find any drugs, drug money, or illegal weapons in her apartment after they killed her. The problem isn't the charge against Hankison; the problem is the decisions that led to that violent confrontation in the first place.

If police are going to be protected in situations where they have to use deadly force against suspects — which they must be in order to do their jobs — then they have a responsibility to avoid creating unnecessary situations in which that deadly force must be used, like those LMPD officers did the night Taylor was killed.

Police should not have gotten a no-knock warrant in this situation. Police should not have been sent to break down her door overnight in a surprise raid on the off chance she had some illegal items in her home. She was a 26-year-old emergency medical technician. She wouldn't have been difficult to find or arrest any number of other ways, if an arrest was even justified.

But because a potential nonviolent drug offender was treated with such aggression, she was killed, her boyfriend was put in an impossible and traumatic situation, a police officer was shot, another was fired and charged with three felony counts, and public trust for law enforcement took another hit.

And in the end, taxpayers with no role or responsibility in the situation footed the bill for the $12 million settlement the city paid Taylor's family in a civil lawsuit.

A citizen was killed in her home by the state, and while an officer was held accountable for bullets that went through apartment walls, no officers were held accountable for the bullets that pierced Breonna Taylor's body and ended her life.

We need to focus on making sure police are made to carry out their duties in a way that maximizes public safety and doesn't violate people's rights. We have to make sure people like Breonna Taylor don't get treated as expendable because of their proximity to drugs. We have to fight for the change that prevents these encounters from occurring, so we don't have to wait for a charging decision in fleeting hope for some form of justice after someone has been wrongly killed.

Regardless of what you think of Breonna Taylor, or what you think of police, we should all be able to agree that a system that produces this outcome when it works as intended needs to be altered and improved.

Breonna Taylor's life can't be restored, and the pain and trauma felt by her loved ones will last a lifetime. I just pray that the lessons learned from this tragedy can be used to save lives like hers in the future.

Buildings, vehicles vandalized on second night of Breonna Taylor protests, but no recorded attacks on citizens or police after two cops were shot Wednesday



Protests in Louisville were less violent Thursday night, calming down significantly from the previous night, during which two Louisville Metropolitan Police Department officers were shot, the Courier Journal reported.

Thursday was the second night since the grand jury decision not to charge any officers for killing Breonna Taylor during a raid on her home in March. One former officer, Brett Hankison, was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment, related to his allegedly shooting recklessly into surrounding apartments — not to the fact that Taylor was shot and killed.

The Courier Journal reported that 24 people were arrested overnight Thursday, down from 127 the night before. Some of the arrests were for unlawful assembly and failure to disperse, and others, including a state representative, Attica Scott, were charged with felony rioting.

Local reports say protesters numbered in the hundreds, mostly marching through the city and chanting. Some protesters reportedly confronted armed militia members who said they had come to the city to protect property, but those confrontations did not escalate into violence.

Police say some businesses and buses were damaged by vandals. Social media videos show some protesters carrying bats and smashing windows. Louisville police indicated that only "several" marchers were involved in the vandalism. One person tossed a flare through a broken window at the library.

After the curfew, protesters took refuge in the First Unitarian Church, where church leaders were allowing people to gather on the property to avoid arrest. While police appeared to line up outside the church for some time, protesters were eventually allowed to leave after police concluded their investigation at the library.

"Contrary to rumors on social media, the LMPD, at no time, was waiting for 'a decision from legal about whether or not they can storm the property,'" an LMPD Facebook post read. "No arrests were made for being on church property. No National Guard was deployed to address these issues. Officers remained at 4th and York in order to secure the area so maintenance could address the library windows that were broken and an arson investigation begun. Once that was complete, police left the area and protestors were given directions on how to leave the church and head home and were able to walk back to their vehicles."

Louisville police declared a state of emergency earlier this week in advance of the attorney general's announcement about charges against the officers, which foreshadowed a decision officials knew protesters would be unhappy with. The windows of some federal buildings had been boarded up, and in-person court hearings were changed to virtual meetings this week for fear of unrest.

Two police officers were shot Wednesday night. Police arrested 26-year-old Larynzo Johnson in connection with the shooting. Both of the officers, Maj. Aubrey Gregory and Officer Robinson Desroches, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Johnson has been charged with two counts of first-degree assault of a police officer and 14 counts of wanton endangerment of a police officer.

Democratic senator indicates Amy Coney Barrett's Christian faith could be an issue during potential SCOTUS confirmation hearing



Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that will hold the confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, said religion will not be off limits in the hearing if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is the nominee, CNN reported.

Barrett, a federal judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is a Catholic, and is considered the front-runner to be Trump's nominee to replace late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Barrett was also considered in 2018 when Brett Kavanaugh was ultimately nominated and confirmed.

"Look, it wasn't her religious views — it's anybody's views that they bring to their decision-making," Hirono elaborated after saying religious views shouldn't be off-limits during confirmation hearings. "So they keep telling us that none of the things they wrote or said yesterday should infringe on their decision, but how can we be assured that they can be objective? ... Why should we say you get a lifetime appointment so that you can reflect your ideological agenda in your decision-making?"

During Barrett's 2017 hearing for the 7th Circuit, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) infamously expressed suspicion over how Barrett's religion might impact her performance as a judge.

"Why is it that so many of us on this side have this very uncomfortable feeling that dogma and law are two different things, and I think whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma," Feinstein told Barrett during the 2017 hearing. "The law is totally different. And I think in your case, professor, when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you. And that's of concern."


Flashback — Dianne Feinstein to Amy Coney Barrett about ACB’s Catholic faith: “When you read your speeches, the con… https://t.co/bbhQpkR0OA
— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JERRY DUNLEAVY)1600544208.0

Barrett answered at the time that she respected Roe v. Wade as established precedent, and that she did not let her religious views hinder her legal judgments.

"There would be no opportunity for me to be a no vote on Roe," Barrett replied to the committee. "And I would faithfully apply all Supreme Court precedent."

Media reports earlier this week attempted to frame Barrett in an unfavorable manner by comparing a Catholic organization she's a member of to "The Handmaid's Tale," a show about women who are oppressed under a fundamentalist religious dictatorship.

In 2018, Hirono and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) took issue with a judicial nominee who was a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization. They were critical of the group's positions on same-sex marriage and abortion. From the Associated Press:

"The Knights of Columbus has taken a number of extreme positions," said Ms. Hirono, Hawaii Democrat, citing the group's opposition to same-sex marriage. "If confirmed, do you intend to end your membership with this organization to avoid any appearance of bias?"

Ms. Harris asked Mr. Buescher, who became a member 25 years ago as a teenager, "Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman's right to choose when you joined the organization?"

One officer charged in Breonna Taylor's death, mayor implements 72-hour curfew to limit potential riots



One former Louisville Metropolitan Police Department officer was charged Wednesday in the death of Breonna Taylor, with the two other involved officers avoiding charges altogether, USA Today reported.

Former LMPD Sgt. Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for allegedly firing his gun recklessly into Taylor's apartment on March 13 during an overnight no-knock drug raid. Hankison was fired from the department for his actions that night.

The other two officers, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, had been placed on administrative leave, but were still with the department.

First degree wanton endangerment is defined as follows:

A person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person.

The charge is a class D felony that carries a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

When the three officers charged into Taylor's apartment around 1 a.m. March 13, Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired one shot at them. The officers were not in uniform, and Walker said he thought it was a home invasion. Walker shot Mattingly in the leg. The three officers returned fire with more than 20 shots. Taylor was shot five times.

The city of Louisville paid a settlement of $12 million to Taylor's family as part of a civil lawsuit.

Louisville officials had been preparing for unrest after this announcement, as protesters have been calling for the firing and arrest of all three officers involved in the shooting since May. The mayor established a 72 hour curfew of from 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. each day. The LMPD declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, canceling officers' time off requests and extending their hours.

There is already some indication of dissatisfaction with the charge. From the Associated Press:

Immediately after the announcement, people were expressing frustration that the grand jury did not do more.

"Justice has NOT been served," tweeted Linda Sarsour of Until Freedom, a group that has pushed for charges in the case. "Rise UP. All across this country. Everywhere. Rise up for #BreonnaTaylor."

LeBron James denies responsibility for violent attacks on police: 'Not one time have I ever said let's act violent toward cops'



Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James denied that his criticisms of police treatment of minorities have contributed to or motivated violent attacks against police officers, USA Today reported.

James said he is just calling for accountability for police officers, but is not condoning or inciting violence against law enforcement officers.

"Not one time have I ever said let's act violent toward cops," James told reporters after a game Tuesday. "I just said what's going on in our community is not okay. And we fear for that, and we fear for our lives. It's something that we go through every single day as a black man, a black woman, and a black kid and a black girl, we fear that moment where we're pulled over."

James said he doesn't believe all police should be demonized, but he's seen and heard of numerous instances of racism by cops.

"I've never in my 35 years ever condoned violence," James also said Tuesday. "I never have. But I also know what right is right and what wrong is wrong. I grew up in the inner city and the black community in what we call 'the hood' or 'the ghetto,' however you want to picture it. I've seen a lot of accounts first-hand of black people being racially profiled because of our color. I've seen it throughout my whole life. I'm not saying that all cops are bad. Throughout high school and things of that nature, and I'm around them all the time, and they're not all bad.

"But when you see the videos of what's going on, and you see them not only in my hometown, but all over America, you continue to see the acts of violence toward my kind, I can't do nothing but speak about it and see the common denominator," James said.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said James should match a $100,000 reward for the person who shot two sheriff's deputies. The two deputies were shot by a person who walked up to their car and opened fire before fleeing, in what appeared to be a targeted ambush of the deputies.

The shooter fled, and police do not yet have a suspect in the shooting. The reward has since been increased to $675,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. James dismissed Villanueva's comments.

"I have zero response on the sheriff," James said.

WJXT-TV video screenshot

High school football team banned from honoring player's late father, a police officer, with Thin Blue Line flag after accusation of racism



Football players at a Florida high school were banned from running onto the field before games carrying a pro-police Thin Blue Line flag after complaints that the flag was racist and fears from school administrators that it was viewed as a political statement, WJXT-TV reported.

Players at Fletcher High School in Neptune Beach carried the flag onto the field all last season to honor the memory of late Jacksonville Beach Police Department Cpl. Andy Lavender, who was the father of Fletcher High School junior offensive lineman Caelen Lavender. Cpl. Lavender died unexpectedly in August 2019.

Although the flag didn't cause problems last year, the elevated anti-police sentiment that exists in 2020 caused the flag to draw more attention. Online commenters reportedly called the display racist, and complaints led school officials to ban the tribute.

"The flag, known as the Thin Blue Line flag, has different meaning for different people, and rather than representing the young man's personal feelings, it was being interpreted as a political statement of the team and of the school," Principal Dean Ledford said in a statement. "In consultation with the coaches, I determined that the act of using this flag in this personal way, while in the context of the football game opening ceremony, could easily be construed as representing a political position of our school and not just the personal feelings of the student and his teammates. Therefore, I have determined that it is no longer appropriate to continue. I am in conversation with the student and his teammates about ways they can appropriately express their personal views."

Lorie Lavender, Caelen's mother, told WJXT there was nothing political about the use of the flag.

"It was all about my son's love for his dad and his memory," Lavender said.

Steve Zona, president of the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police, criticized the ban.

"This is a prime example where it was as innocent as can be, there is no politics involved, no us versus them, simply to honor a great man and allow his kids on the football team to honor him, and they have taken those, hijacked it, and called it racism," Zona told WJXT. And now the son and these kids are suffering because of it."

Two high school students in Ohio were suspended from the team for carrying Thin Blue Line and Thin Red Line (for firefighters) flags onto the field before a Sept. 11 game to honor their fathers and other first responders. They had been told by the district not to bring the flags on the field.

(H/T: New York Post)

Officer involved in Breonna Taylor's death sends message to fellow officers slamming protesters, FBI: 'Don't put up with their s**t'



A Louisville Metropolitan Police Department officer sent an email to approximately 1,000 fellow officers at 2 a.m. Tuesday criticizing protesters, city officials, department leadership, and the FBI as he awaits a decision on whether he will be charged in Breonna Taylor's death, Vice News reported.

The email, written by Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and obtained by Vice News' Roberto Aram Ferdman, foreshadowed a "rough" period to come as the city braces for potential unrest if Mattingly, Officer Myles Cosgrove, and Sgt. Brett Hankison are not charged in Taylor's death this week.

New: LMPD Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly (who is being investigated as part of Breonna Taylor’s case) sent an email to aro… https://t.co/SZEgX3jHLd
— Roberto Aram Ferdman (@Roberto Aram Ferdman)1600779325.0

"No matter the ineptitude in upper command or the mayor's office, this is one of the greatest jobs on earth," Mattingly wrote. "With that being said, these next few days are going to be tough. They are going to be long, they are going to be frustrating. They will put a tremendous amount of stress on your families."

The Louisville Metro PD declared a state of emergency Monday in advance of an expected grand jury decision on whether to charge the three officers who executed the no-knock search warrant on Taylor's home the night they shot and killed her. Hankison was fired, but Mattingly and Cosgrove are still with the department on administrative leave.

Mattingly told the other officers in the email that they didn't deserve the abuse they will potentially face from protesters in coming days.

"You DO NOT DESERVE to be in this position," Mattingly wrote. "The position that allows thugs to get in your face and yell, curse, and degrade you. Throw bricks, bottles, and urine on you and expect you to do nothing. It goes against EVERYTHING we were all taught in the academy. The position that if you make a mistake, during one of the most stressful times in your career, the department and FBI (who aren't cops and would piss their pants if they had to hold the line) go after you for civil rights violations. Your civil rights mean nothing, but the criminal has total autonomy."

Mattingly defended the officers' actions the night Taylor was killed. After the officers broke in the door of Taylor's apartment, Taylor's boyfriend shot at them, saying he believed it was a home invasion, and they returned fire with approximately 20 shots. Five of them hit Taylor, killing her.

"Regardless of the outcome today or Wednesday, I know we did the legal, moral, and ethical thing that night," Mattingly wrote. "It's sad how the good guys are demonized, and criminals are canonized. Put that aside for a while, keep your focus and do your jobs that you are trained and capable of doing. Don't put up with their s**t, and go home to those lovely families and relationships."

The officers had a warrant for Taylor because she was believed to be connected to her ex-boyfriend's drug trafficking operation. No drugs or money were found at her home.

Newsweek attacks potential Trump SCOTUS nominee for her Christian faith, has to issue a major correction



President Donald Trump will announce his Supreme Court nomination this weekend, and Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is believed to be a top candidate.

So media outlets have begun digging into her background, many of them with the intent of finding unfavorable information about the woman who could become President Donald Trump's third Supreme Court appointment of his first term. Barrett's Catholic faith has been a primary focus.

Newsweek published an article that claimed in the headline that a Catholic group Barrett is a member of was the inspiration for "The Handmaid's Tale," a novel by Margaret Atwood that was recently made into a television show. This is not true, and Newsweek had to issue a correction.

"Correction: This article's headline originally stated that People of Praise inspired 'The Handmaid's Tale'. The book's author, Margaret Atwood, has never specifically mentioned the group as being the inspiration for her work," the correction read. "A New Yorker profile of the author from 2017 mentions a newspaper clipping as part of her research for the book of a different charismatic Catholic group, People of Hope. Newsweek regrets the error."

"The Handmaid's Tale" is described on IMDb as follows: "A religion based autocracy has taken over most of the United States, renaming the country Gilead. In this country women are second-class citizens. Anyone trying to escape is punished."

The article described some of the aspects of People of Praise, such as opposition to premarital or extramarital sex, opposition to abortion, and opposition to homosexuality and quoted a professor who questioned whether Barrett would be able to make individual decisions as a member of such a group.

Nevertheless, concerns have been raised that Barrett's ties to the group as would influence her decisions on the Supreme Court.

"These groups can become so absorbing that it's difficult for a person to retain individual judgment," Sarah Barringer Gordon, a professor of constitutional law and history at the University of Pennsylvania, previously told The Times.

And while the People of Praise group was never brought up in Barrett's 2017 confirmation hearing for her current post, Senator Dianne Feinstein told Barrett: "The dogma lives loudly within you." Barrett told the senators that her faith would not affect her decisions as a judge.

President Donald Trump has said he will announce his nominee on Saturday, after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's funeral. In addition to Barrett, the shortlist reportedly includes Judge Barbara Lagoa of the Eleventh Circuit and Judge Allison Jones Rushing of the Fourth Circuit.