Catholic News ServiceSeptember 25, 2020
In this 2018 file photo, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., then chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee for Religious Liberty, speaks during a religious freedom event at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)    

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (CNS) -- Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville in a statement Sept. 23 said people should now "come together to work for racial justice," whatever their reaction is to decisions by the grand jury and the office of Kentucky's attorney general in the March 13 fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor by police.

"I again join with citizens throughout our community and the nation in mourning the tragic death of Breonna Taylor," the archbishop said.

"There is no question that our nation's original sin of racism continues to destroy and harm the lives of persons of color and that racism extends through so many systems of our society ... educational, economic, religious, housing, criminal justice, voting and employment," Archbishop Kurtz said.

"Our church stands ready to work with civic, community, educational, business, and nonprofit partners to address these issues," he added.

Taylor, 26, was fatally shot after three Louisville police officers entered her apartment executing a search warrant. Officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove knocked before forcing entry, but how the officers announced their identity before forcing entry has been disputed, according to news reports.

Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a gun at the officers he said he believed to be intruders, who fired over 20 shots in turn. Taylor was shot five times.

On Sept. 23, a much-anticipated decision by the grand jury was handed down. It said Mattingly and Cosgrove shot in self-defense. Hankison, who was fired from the police department in June, was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for shooting into neighboring apartments.

 

Demonstrators took to the streets in Louisville and in other U.S. cities protesting the grand jury's decision and demanding justice for Taylor and demanding the police be held accountable for her death.

Some of the protests turned violent, including in Louisville, leading to clashes with police. In that city, two police officers were shot by a protester. One officer was shot in the abdomen and required surgery. Both officers are expected to recover from their injuries.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron said at a news conference that his office's investigation determined that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their actions and that they had announced themselves as police officers before the shooting began.

Cameron, who is Kentucky's first Black attorney general, called on people to reject violence in response to the grand jury decision.

"If we simply act on emotion or outrage, there is no justice. Mob justice is not justice," he said. "Justice sought by violence is not justice. It just becomes revenge."

In his statement, Archbishop Kurtz added: "I join with people of faith and goodwill to plead for peace and the rejection of violence as citizens exercise their first amendment right to protest. Let us all join in prayers for Breonna Taylor's family and friends and for justice, peace and healing in our community."

We don’t have comments turned on everywhere anymore. We have recently relaunched the commenting experience at America and are aiming for a more focused commenting experience with better moderation by opening comments on a select number of articles each day.

But we still want your feedback. You can join the conversation about this article with us in social media on Twitter or Facebook, or in one of our Facebook discussion groups for various topics.

Or send us feedback on this article with one of the options below:

We welcome and read all letters to the editor but, due to the volume received, cannot guarantee a response.

In order to be considered for publication, letters should be brief (around 200 words or less) and include the author’s name and geographic location. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

We open comments only on select articles so that we can provide a focused and well-moderated discussion on interesting topics. If you think this article provides the opportunity for such a discussion, please let us know what you'd like to talk about, or what interesting question you think readers might want to respond to.

If we decide to open comments on this article, we will email you to let you know.

If you have a message for the author, we will do our best to pass it along. Note that if the article is from a wire service such as Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, or the Associated Press, we will not have direct contact information for the author. We cannot guarantee a response from any author.

We welcome any information that will help us improve the factual accuracy of this piece. Thank you.

Please consult our Contact Us page for other options to reach us.

City and state/province, or if outside Canada or the U.S., city and country. 
When you click submit, this article page will reload. You should see a message at the top of the reloaded page confirming that your feedback has been received.

The latest from america

“Medieval Peasanting” means reminding myself that there once existed Catholics who couldn’t read or write. They said their prayers and did their best to obey the commandments, and when they failed, they repented.
Simcha FisherJune 21, 2021
The U.S. church isn’t just polarized; it is tired. And it is polarized in part because it is tired.
Pope Francis told the group, “It is important to seek out what is positive at a time when life is not at its most beautiful. Seek the positive in order to keep going forward.”
The pope told the public gathered in St. Peter's Square that he was joining his voice to that of the Asian nation's bishops in also calling for humanitarian corridors.
Associated PressJune 20, 2021