the dark side of no-knock warrants


Breonna Taylor (1993-2020), a medical tech at a university hospital in the middle of a pandemic, was killed by police officers in her home in Louisville, Kentucky on March 13th 2020. She was Black American, they were White American.

At least eight bullets hit Breonna Taylor, killing her in the hallway.

As it stands, the officer who killed her has been fired but not charged.

After reading about Breonna Taylor’s unfortunate and untimely passing at the hands of the Louisville police, I did some reading up on no-knock warrants and I was alarmed to see the somewhat similar case of Kathryn Johnston, a 92 year old black woman killed 14 years ago in Atlanta.

Kathryn Johnston (June 26, 1914 – November 21, 2006) was an elderly Atlanta, Georgia, woman who was killed by undercover police officers in her home on Neal Street in northwest Atlanta on November 21, 2006, where she had lived for 17 years. Three officers had entered her home in what was later described as a ‘botched’ drug raid. Officers cut off burglar bars and broke down her door using a no-knock warrant. Police said Johnston fired at them and they fired in response; she fired one shot out the door over the officers’ heads and they fired 39 shots, five or six of which hit her. None of the officers were injured by her gunfire, but Johnston was killed by the officers. Police injuries were later attributed to friendly fire from each other’s weapon

….39 shots. Against one extremely elderly woman.

To make matters worse…

One of the officers planted marijuana in Johnston’s house after the shooting

To make matters even worse, they handcuffed her while she was dying and she died before they could remove her from the scene.

Apparently, an informant testified that he’d bought drugs from her house – but denied it after the fact.

Eventually, the officers involved were arrested and charged, and served time in prison.

One thing that stood out to me was their testimony.

The officers involved in the shooting testified that they had been under pressure to meet performance requirements of the APD, which led them to lie and falsify evidence, and that they had been inadequately trained. Police Chief Pennington denied the existence of quotas in the APD, but acknowledged the existence of “performance measures because if we don’t have them, the officers would come in every day with nothing on their sheets.”

Quite why a 92 year old woman was their target is a mystery, but chances are they were looking for someone else. Still, it makes me wonder just how often the police have planted evidence.

I also think it’s highly likely that these ‘performance measures’ are still in place. Whenever I’m talking to someone about how police target black people, the word quota comes up. It’s much easier to justify arresting a black person. We fit the profile. On a less dangerous level, security guards are told the same thing, but that’s a post for another time.

Typically, no-knock warrants are supposedly issued for residences where police believe criminal activity is taking place. The idea is that, not knocking will prevent the occupant from hiding or destroying evidence…but…even if they did knock, would occupants have time to do all of that? At best, it’s an unnecessarily aggressive intimidation tactic that results in serious injuries or the loss of life – almost like, the police aren’t interested in doing any policing at all?

From an incident in Little Rock, Arkansas two years ago:

On Feb. 2, 2018, officers told a judge that a confidential informant had purchased $60 worth of methamphetamine from a man inside a home on Labette Drive and they needed a no-knock warrant.

Two weeks later, officers broke open the front door of the Labette Drive home of Candice Caldwell and threw a flash-bang grenade inside, which burned a portion of the carpet. Another officer used a ladder he found on the property to climb onto the roof and break into the home through a second floor window. Officers also fired shots through the ceiling and caused more than $7,800 in damage.

But as was the case with the Davis raid, officers came up empty. All that was recovered was a home surveillance system that apparently recorded the incident and a glass smoking device

The entire concept of no-knock warrants becomes even more warped in the cases of Breonna Taylor and Kathryn Johnston – if occupants have guns, what happens when they shoot back? Absolute carnage, but…what else can happen when people are targeted in such a violent manner? In the case of Breonna, her partner Kenneth Walker shot and wounded an officer because he thought it was a home invasion.

Initially, he was charged with attempted murder – despite the fact that it’s legal to defend yourself against a home invasion.

Kathryn Johnston fired a shot that didn’t hit any of the officers who targeted her, yet they fired 39 shots back at her.

There is no justice being served here.

Instead the police are creating situations where there’s loss of life – sometimes their own (which would be a pretty good reason to abolish the practise all together, but apparently not).

Naturally, there’s even disparity in the way deaths of officers due to no-knock warrants are handled.

From this 2014 Vox article:

A pair of cases in Texas are an example of how wrong no-knock raids can go, for both police and civilians, and how dangerously subjective the SWAT raid process can be. In December 2013, Henry Magee shot and killed a police officer during a pre-dawn, no-knock drug raid on his home. He was initially charged with capital murder, but he argued that he shot the police officer, who he thought was an intruder, to protect his pregnant girlfriend. In February 2014, a grand jury declined to indict him, and charges were dropped.

In May, a Texas man named Marvin Guy also killed a police officer during a pre-dawn, no-knock raid on his home. Guy, too, was charged with capital murder. Unlike Magee’s grand jury, a grand jury in September 2014 allowed the capital murder charge against Guy to stand. His trial is likely to happen in 2016.

Guy, who is black, now faces the death penalty. Magee is white.

Marvin Guy’s trial hasn’t happened yet. He’s STILL (paywall) in jail.

Marvin Louis Guy, 55, is held in jail for five felony charges: capital murder of a peace officer, capital murder by terror or threat, and three charges of attempted capital murder of a peace officer. Guy has been in police custody since 2014.

There are too many stories online about no-knock warrants and the dangers they pose. Enough that they should have been banned before Breonna Taylor was shot dead. As of writing, the officer who killed her hasn’t been charged, but even if he is…I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t see a day in jail.

Aiyana Jones was seven years old when she was killed in a botched raid in 2010.

Aiyana Stanley-Jones was sleeping in her home on the east side of Detroit on the night of May 16, 2010, when officers barged into the house. They were conducting a police raid in search of a murder suspect who lived at that address — and being filmed for a reality TV show in the process — when Officer Joseph Weekley accidentally fired his gun. What exactly caused him to fire is still a matter of dispute. But the shot killed Aiyana.

That’s tragic enough on its own, but what struck me as particularly silly was Weekley’s assertion that he was blinded by the flash grenade that he threw.

According to Weekley, a fellow officer threw a flash-bang grenade through the window, temporarily blinding him. When Weekley regained sight, he realized there was a person on the couch instead of what he’d originally thought was a pile of clothes.


Was he not trained on how to use one of those things without impairing his own vision? Is it any wonder that these raids turn into pandemonium when the police don’t seem to have a single iota of intelligence?

Not that it even matters.

They do this shit on purpose.

“These raids, at their essence, are really a tool designed to keep black folks and poor folks in their place. To keep them scared, to keep them on their heels. It’s unconscionable.” — Michael Laux, Civil Rights attorney.

I feel like these raids are normalised by how we see them on television. The epic part of the movie where the Badass Cop™ kicks down the door. The juicy part of the reality show where they burst into people’s houses. Do we every really think about the real consequences of these raids?

Some of the stuff I’ve read has been nothing short of horrifying and I really do hope that everything that’s been said and done this past month actually inspires real change, both in the US and wherever people are being mistreated in this way.



How A Police Officer Shot A Sleeping 7-Year-Old To Death

Six Years Later Still No Justice For Aiyana Jones

the oppression olympics


…because some people want to be oppressed so badly. They see oppression and instead of having empathy – they want sympathy for themselves.

BAME is a term used in the UK (and elsewhere) that simply means: black and minority ethnic. There is widespread evidence that BAME people in the UK are disadvantaged compared to white people, but predictably some refuse to believe this.

Instead, they believe that BAME people are the ones with privilege.

From March 2020:

Millennials from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are at greater risk of being in unstable employment than their white peers, a study has shown.

They are 47% more likely to be on zero-hours contracts and have a 10% greater chance of having a second job. BAME millennials are also 5% more likely to be doing shift work and are 4% less likely to have a permanent contract than white workers.

Continue reading “the oppression olympics”

#blacklivesmatter – until you come for their problematic fave


Note: This is a LONG-ish post.

I debated whether I’d write about this incident, but in a weird way, it’s absolutely perfect for this blog. Sometimes I feel weird writing about important topics on a blog I created to complain about a TV show and its fandom but does it really matter? Nah.

This is a story about race, fandom, black friends and cult leaders.

For references purposes, I’m a black woman living in the UK. Unfortunately, talk about racism over here is even worse than it is in the US.

Anyway, that’s a post for another time.

Everything I’m about to write is true.

First of all, while not all fandoms are racist, lot of them are a hotbed for questionable activity. They will also condone racism for the sake of worshipping their faves or writing white saviour fanfiction.

I don’t even care about that.

I was simply minding my own business, reading posts on social media when I came across Brendon Urie’s statement on everything happening via someone’s IG story.

Continue reading “#blacklivesmatter – until you come for their problematic fave”

when you’re too smart for your own good

I’ll be honest, 2018 has gotten off to a shaky start and I haven’t been keeping up with the news much. It’s been Trump, Trump, Trump for a year and it’s become rather tiring. 

That being said, it’s time to check back in and this week didn’t disappoint. 

We have Melania and her Einstein visa, Hope Hicks and her wife-beating ex-boyfriend, and her resignation. We have Jarvanka getting their security clearances downgraded. Gen. Kelly appears to have gone power mad. Sessions and Trump are like two old pensioners who spend their time arguing with each other. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is still the resident WH Bullshitter. It’s been a long week for Trump.

Oh and Roy Moore has no money. 

Former U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore is pleading for money to pay for his legal bills as he fights a lawsuit against a woman who says he molested her when she was 14.

Moore said on a campaign Facebook page Thursday that his “resources have been depleted.”

Maybe he should auction off his guns? Just a suggestion. 

However, what caught my attention was an ethics story. We have whistleblower drama, extravagant furniture and feigned ignorance.

The worst thing about smart people is that they can easily go rogue and end up with a severely inflated opinion of themselves. Being an expert in their field means that they can do anything. Yet, they struggle with basic tasks like operating a toaster. Maintaining budgets, being able to talk about what they do. Or, not being smart enough to know that they have no business running a governmental department. 

Yes, these musings are in honour of Ben Carson. Ben Carson is one of those frustrating black people who had his black membership revoked a long time ago. He’s an embarrassment as far as I’m concerned. The kind of person that misuses the good fortune they’ve been given. His comments on people on welfare are disgusting. His comments about slavery are even worse. He truly has no shame. 

However, people like him are always the ones that are thrifty with their money while playing fast and loose with other people’s.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is under fire spending $31,000 on a lavish dining set for his office.

Call me crazy, but why does he need a dining set at all? Are we supposed to believe that there are going to be enough working lunches and dinners that’s it’s a requirement? Not only that, it’s custom made. Supposedly the order has been cancelled but somewhere out there there’s someone with half a dining set who’s probably not happy.

I know that government officials think they’re above the rest of us, but what’s wrong with IKEA? Maybe Ben Carson can get a team of people on welfare to assemble it for him, seeing as how poverty is a ‘state of mind’ and all that.

I think the most ludicrous part is that the actual budget for redecorating was $5,000. That’s still a lot of money. However…

Carson’s wife, Candy, said that “$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair”.

Carson’s department also signed a contract last year to spend $165,000 on “lounge furniture” for its Washington headquarters from the retailer OFS Brands of Huntingburg, Indiana, according to federal procurement records.

All of this amidst the fact that they stand to lose at least six billion dollars of funding. Oh, wait. Ben Carson couldn’t care less about housing. That might be because you know, he’s a brain surgeon with absolutely no experience and also someone with no basic human compassion or understanding of how people less fortunate than him live. 

Naturally, Ben Carson is denying all knowledge of this. I guess he just signed off on a bunch of papers that he read but only comprehended after the ink dried (that’s actually plausible). 

To conclude: Ugh.

Meanwhile in the UK….

Theresa May’s Mansion House speech on Britain’s future relationship with EU was dismissed as vague and unworkable

…not much has changed.

The big news this week was the collapse of Maplin and Toys’R’Us.

Two of the UK’s best-known retailers, Toys R Us and the electronics specialist Maplin, have collapsed into administration on the same day, putting 5,500 jobs at risk.

…another sign of how Brexit will be good for the UK, surely?

“The business [Maplin] has worked hard over recent months to mitigate a combination of impacts from sterling devaluation post-Brexit, a weak consumer environment and the withdrawal of credit insurance.”


To conclude: DOUBLE UGH.

Over in Nigeria, the government took a week to admit that yes, 110 girls were kidnapped by a terrorist group they’ve absolutely failed to do anything about. 

Infinity ugh. 

the threat is real, but the hysteria is fake

I’ve grown tired of Trump and writing about it was so utterly depressing that I’ve stopped. However, considering that he managed to drag the UK into his bullshit, I shall comment.

Donald Trump has shared a series of Islamophobic tweets from far-right extremist group Britain First, sparking condemnation for spreading its “deplorable” ideology to a global audience.

The first video, originally shared by deputy leader Jayda Fransen’s account, claimed to show “Muslim migrants beating up a Dutch boy on crutches”.

A second re-post was captioned “Muslim destroys statue of Virgin Mary”, while a third read “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death”. [link]

Britain First are a bunch of crazy, whackos, however, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have their admirers. I’m sure you’ll find some wayward Christians who agree with them but will never say so out loud. That doesn’t legitimise Britain First in any way. The President of the United States retweeting them might. Getting a cosign from David Duke also isn’t a good thing.

At this point, Trump is making the rest of the world root for North Korea. He can’t get a tax bill together, the federal government might shut down next month, North Korea are trying to blow up the country yet he had time to retweet some anti-Muslim bullshit.

Naturally, his useless minions are out in force to defend him.

“Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. “His goal is to promote strong border security and strong national security.”

Whether it’s a real video? That’s like saying a bank robber didn’t commit a crime because there were only counterfeit notes in the vault. Girl, bye. Go and parrot your lies and subterfuge elsewhere.

I’m not talking about the nature of the video,” she said. “…The threat is real, what the President is talking about – the need for national security and military spending – those are very real things, there’s nothing fake about that.”

Yeah…. swap out Muslims for Trump and those words ring true. The threat is already in the country. In the Oval office with his tiny fingers tapping out his next tweet.

Meanwhile, Theresa May had this to say:

The Prime Minister earlier said the billionaire was “wrong” to have retweeted messages by Britain First’s deputy leader that featured misleading, Islamophobic videos.

Her spokesman added: “British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents – decency, tolerance and respect.”

Weaaaaak. Not surprising, though.

In true buffoon fashion, Trump repsonded via Twitter. To the wrong account. And then deleted it.

He reposted it of course.

I wish that we could delete him.

idiots of the week

1. Mike Pence

Deliberately went to a Colts game so he could stage a walkout in response to players kneeling. 

Grade: F- in PR stunts…

….because it’s not the same when you make it obvious and use taxpayers money to do it. 

Apparently Trump told him to do it.

What is he, a fucking marionette? Please.

2. Kellyanne Conway

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway went into a long rant about CNN spending too much time covering the Russia scandal on Thursday, despite the fact that she was actually asked a question about when it’s the appropriate time to talk about gun violence in the United States.

She’s so fucking stupid that I’m not going to waste time summarising this. Here’s the link to the video. 

3. Salt Lake City County District Attorney


How does a man wind up dead from a traffic stop over a bicycle?


Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill has cleared a Salt Lake City police officer who fatally shot 50-year-old Patrick Harmon on Aug. 13, saying the shooting was justified, after authorities say that Harmon pulled a knife and threatened to injure officers who were trying to arrest him, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

The decision comes despite the fact that bodycam footage clearly shows Officer Clinton Fox shouting, “I’ll fucking shoot you,” before firing three bullets at Harmon’s back as he tried to run in the opposite direction.

The video was absolutely horrific. The US police need to stop lying and do better. 

Source: The Root

4. Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Already posted about him here, but he gets an honourable mention. 

5. Donald Trump

He’s in the process of de-certifying the Iran Deal, but he took time for get into a feud with Sen. Bob Corker who clapped back with this:

He’s also trying to take credit for the word ‘fake’. 

6. Boris Johnson & Tories

Just, ugh. 

7. Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood

Everyone knew about his creepy behaviour, but they did and said nothing. 

Expect nothing to change. 

The price of freedom

People’s reactions to mass shootings often range from false concern, to no concern, taking several hours to tweet about it and…

… debating gun control. 

The simple fact of the matter is that none of those reactions will undo the devastating and horrible action that happened in Las Vegas. 

According to Bill O’Reilly, being targeted by someone who allegedly had up to 10 modified/semi-automatic weapons with him is the ‘price of freedom’s. He also claims that gun control won’t stop psychopaths from harming people. No, but it might stop them from shooting people. Or harming themselves. Guns are not toys. 

There seems to be this weird never ending cycle of mass shooting in the US that do not have an impact on those that are pro-guns. I’m from a different country entirely and I feel sick every time I hear about a shooting in the US. I have no idea why people feel like the Second Amendment means they don’t have a right to ensure the safety of millions of people. 

This chart shows the huge discrepancy between the US and other countries. 

(source & more information here)

The main difference? The US has a lot more guns. 

Sadly, I don’t see anything changing. 

RIP to those who lost their lives and my thoughts are with those who were hurt. Life is effing cruel.


Idiot(s) of the week

1.. Donald Trump

I’m not even going to go into it because I am tired of hearing about Trump. Just Google ‘Donald Trump Puerto Rico’ and go from there.

2. Jim Carrey

Yoo, what eff is Jim Carrey on? He’s out there sounding like he binge read fifty self-help and meditation books in a week and now he just speaks in weird sweeping statements that mean nothing at all.

Existential crisis or heightened case of preexisting douchebaggery? You decide.

The stuff about his ex is terrible too. The more he denies it, the more believable it is. Calling her immature and emotionally damaged when she’s dead and can’t defend herself was a low move even if her family are trying to sue him.

3. Boris Johnson

Apparently £140k isn’t enough to live on. Meanwhile, people in the UK are relying on food banks to feed their families. Out of touch doesn’t even cover it.

Add that to the fact that he’s trying to overthrow Theresa May.

Cabinet ministers and senior Tories have warned Boris Johnson that “nobody is unsackable”, demanded he get behind Theresa May and made clear they do not want a leadership contest.

The backlash against Mr Johnson was spelt out in the back rooms at the Conservative conference, at fringe events and from the main stage, where successive big hitters called for unity.

One cabinet minister told The Independent it “needs to stop” after Mr Johnson again publicly demanded changes to Ms May’s Brexit plans at the weekend, while another ex-minister said the Foreign Secretary looked “incredibly disloyal”.

If there’s one thing the United Kingdom is actually united on it’s Boris Johnson. The poor man’s Donald Trump. No one wants him anywhere near Downing Street.

This dude is straight up nuts. In fact, he’s the physical embodiment of the word incompetent. 

I have no sympathy for Theresa May. She gave him the power he lost after the leadership debacle with Michael Gove.

See alsoYay for colonialism!

4. Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jacob Rees-Mogg, who recently said he was against abortion even for pregnancies resulting from rape, has admitted that his investment firm profits from pills used in abortions.

Mr Rees-Mogg, a devout Catholic who has been touted as a possible replacement for Theresa May as leader of the Conservatives, defended his fund, Somerset Capital Management’s £5m investment in an Indonesian company called Kalbe Farma.

Mr Rees-Mogg told the Sunday Mirror: “It would be wrong to pretend that I like it but the world is not always what you want it to be.

Why are politicians always the worst people?


I’m tired of coming up with new ways to insult Trump. I think calling people who respect themselves and want to be treated equally ‘sons of bitches’ really just sums up what a cantankerous, ill-mannered, orange faced, lying sack of useless bullshit Donald Trump really is. 

‘Disinviting’ Steph Curry and co is just sour grapes on his part. Lebron summed it all up in two words. ‘U bum’. 

I’m with everyone who took a stand against him today. 

Here’s the thing about racist jokes

They are racist first and foremost. 

They say a lot about your character. If you are not that race, it will be perceived as racist. If you don’t think it’s racist, it’s probably racist. 

As someone who lives in a predominantly white country, but a mixed city, you see this casual racism everyday. We see it and most of us say nothing because we already have institutional racism going against us. Most of us are not about to get the label of crybaby or whatever else added to our list of issues. It’s not good, but it’s what happens. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. 

Fortunately for us, there’s always one person who tries to do the right thing. 

The latest incident here is regarding the now former England Women’s Football Manager. He was sacked today after weeks of controversy regarding a comments he made to different players. I don’t even care about that right now. The entire English FA is a joke. 

What I care about is the reaction. People are saying that they stand by him (do you even know him?) and that it’s pc gone mad (classic racist logic) and he shouldn’t be fired for a bad joke. 

A bad joke? 

Mark Sampson, the manager of the England women’s football team, is alleged to have told one of his black players to make sure their Nigerian relatives did not bring Ebola to a game at Wembley, according to extraordinary new evidence the Guardian can present as part of the Eni Aluko hush-money case.

That’s not just a bad joke, it’s racism. Yes, there was an Ebola crisis in certain parts of Africa at the time, but not in Nigeria. And even if there had been, it’s still not funny. The worst part is that people think that any black person should be okay with this joke. I think I read that the player laughed in disbelief because she didn’t know what else to do. 

It’s a very strange situation when people (with or without authority over you) make these statements and it’s a choice between speaking out and not being labelled as sensitive or easily offended and keeping quiet and feeling like you’re betraying yourself in your gut. 

So, the next time you think about making a racist joke – don’t. 

It’s that simple. 

I should note that he technically wasn’t fired because of his alleged racist statements but because of his behaviour in a previous role. So, I’m sure he’ll have another cushy job in less than six months.