Criminal charges against Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend may be dropped for good

The Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney is seeking to dismiss with prejudice the criminal charges against Kenneth Walker from last March’s fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor.

If a judge grants the request, Walker couldn’t be recharged in the case.

Walker, Taylor’s then-boyfriend, was arrested and charged with assault and attempted murder of a police officer after he shot Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the thigh as police burst into Taylor’s apartment shortly before 1 a.m. March 13, 2020.

Walker has maintained he did not know police were at the door and thought intruders were breaking in.

Those charges were dismissed without prejudice in May, with Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine calling for more investigation to determine if criminal charges were warranted.

Wine said then he believed officers knocked and announced themselves before ramming in Taylor’s door but added it was conceivable Walker did not hear them announce they were police. 

Now, an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Wine’s office argues in a motion filed Thursday that many of the pending investigations have concluded.

“No new information relevant to the charges against (Walker) in this matter has been brought to commonwealth’s attention,” according to the filing signed by Wine and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Ebert Haegele. 

“As such, the commonwealth moves the court to amend its prior dismissal of this matter without prejudice to a dismissal with prejudice.”

A hearing before Judge Olu Stevens is scheduled for 11 a.m. March 8.

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/breonna-taylor/2021/03/04/prosecutor-seeks-permanently-dismiss-kenneth-walker-charges-breonna-taylor-boyfriend/4582057001/

Gov. Beshear stresses importance of vaccine accessibility during Louisville NAACP event

Out of all Kentuckians who have received the COVID-19 vaccine, less than 5% are Black.

As health care organizations in the Louisville Metro area work to lower the gap, Gov. Andy Beshear said he also will be doing anything he can to address the inequality.

On Friday, Beshear met with leaders of the Louisville NAACP at their headquarters to speak about the importance of urging people to take the vaccine. He said while it’s an important message coming from him, he has found out, people in minority communities would like to hear that message from people in their own communities.

“People want to see, and hear, from people trusted and respected in their own communities,” Beshear said. “They want to hear those voices saying that this is a safe vaccine. They want to see those leaders, people they already put their trust in and have fought beside, to take this vaccine in a real show.”

Beshear said there are two main factors standing in the way of minorities receiving the vaccine at the expected rate, accessibility and skepticism. He believes the skepticism can be tackled by continuing to work with Norton Healthcare, a local health group that has started an initiative to place pop-up vaccination sites in churches and facilities inside the hardest-hit communities. Beshear believes they are helping people feel comfortable because they are getting vaccinated in places they feel most safe, by people they trust the most.

“It’s always good to see somebody like you take the vaccine or do something,” Kevin James said. “You see somebody like you do it, you feel more susceptible to do it.”

Accessibility can be tackled by making the sites easier to reach through transportation.

“Yesterday we announced public transit agencies across the commonwealth are offering free or reduced-cost transportation to and from vaccine locations,” Beshear said.

Those services are now operating in 100 counties, covering 75% of all counties across the state. In addition to the now 410 vaccination sites in the state, Norton Healthcare has opened pop-up sites at the YMCA on West Broadway, St. Stephen Baptist Church, Bates Memorial Baptist Church, Quinn Chapel AME Church and New Covenant Baptist Church.

If you would like to receive a vaccine but need help with transportation visit this website, or call 855-598-2246.

https://www.wlky.com/article/gov-beshear-stresses-importance-of-vaccine-accessibility-during-louisville-naacp-event/35652639

Beshear joins Louisville NAACP leaders to raise COVID-19 vaccine awareness

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Friday, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear joined Louisville NAACP leaders to address vaccine hesitancy among Black Kentuckians. 

 

“After meeting and listening to community leaders, we have learned that Kentuckians want to see and hear from people trusted in their respective communities about why it’s important to take the COVID vaccine,” the governor said. “Today, we thank the NAACP for hosting this event that encourages Black Kentuckians to roll up their sleeves to take their shot of hope.”

 

Raoul Cunningham, president of the NAACP Louisville chapter, said he welcomed the opportunity to host the event with the Governor.

 

“African-Americans are infected with COVID-19 at nearly three times the rate of white Americans and are twice as likely to die from the virus,” Cunningham said. “The Louisville Branch NAACP encourages the entire community, especially our constituents, to get the vaccine. We are appreciative to the Governor for coming to our community to emphasize the importance of getting the vaccine, and we look forward to continuing to work with him to rid our community, city, state and nation of this god-awful virus.”

 

Early in the pandemic, Black and African-American Kentuckians were dying of COVID at twice the rate that they make up of the population.

 

However, Black Kentuckians only account for 4.6% of those vaccinated so far. The Governor is committed to addressing this inequity.

 

The event took place at the NAACP chapter’s West Louisville office and several people received vaccines from Norton Healthcare.

 

In addition to the now 410 vaccination locations across the commonwealth, the state has been working with provider partners like the Norton Healthcare to ensure location is not a barrier for those who want the vaccine.

Norton Healthcare has hosted several pop-up vaccination sites in local churches.

 

“These vaccines are safe. They are effective. They are saving lives. Please continue to do everything in your power to help us spread that message, so everyone can be protected,” Beshear said.

https://www.whas11.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/vaccine/beshear-louisville-naacp-leaders-address-vaccine-heistancy/417-849a1870-120b-4e6e-853a-898f9ed904fc