By: Sarah Liu
On March 13th of 2020, Breonna Taylor was shot inside of her home after police barged in to investigate a drug dealing operation in connection with her former boyfriend.
The day before, Judge Mary Shaw was persuaded by a detective that Ms. Taylor’s house was being used to send packages. The detective, Joshua Jaynes, then requested a no-knock warrant which allowed him to barge into her home at “all times of night and day.”
Now, federal prosecutors believe there was not enough evidence to confirm the information. Mr. Jaynes had met with another detective in private to plan a false story to tell the F.B.I. His only proof was that a postal inspector confirmed the shipments, which prosecutors have proved false.
This uncovering has shown the impending disasters when search warrants are authorized based on minimal, altered knowledge. Ms. Taylor was not the only one to suffer from misinformation. “It happens far more often than people think,” said Joseph C. Patituce, a defense lawyer and former prosecutor in Ohio.
In Atlanta, officers shot a 92-year-old woman after an officer lied in a search warrant about buying drugs from her home. In Baltimore, a detective lied about finding drugs in a man's truck to search his hotel room. In Houston, a police officer falsely claimed a home was being used to purchase heroin, which caused a shootout, killing two.
Mr. Jaynes said a sergeant gave him the information. However, prosecutors say he was told there was no knowledge of the packages many times by the sergeant. Just last year, he said, “I had no reason to lie in this case.” Mr. Jaynes now admits he did not verify the information.
Judge Mary Shaw has declined to comment on the situation. Breonna Taylor’s death is saddening, but has given many unspoken issues like false search warrants their needed attention. As Ed Davis, a former police commissioner says, “every one of those search warrants can turn into a disaster.”
Link To Article: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/06/us/breonna-taylor-police-search-warrants.html