On Wednesday night, during halftime of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, and just as the broadcast was going to commercial, ESPN analyst Jalen Rose shouted, “It’d also be a great day to arrest the cops that murdered Breonna Taylor.”
"It'd also be a great day to ARREST THE COPS THAT MURDERED BREONNA TAYLOR"@JalenRose not holding back 🗣
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) September 24, 2020
Rose was reacting to the decision by a grand jury on Wednesday not to charge the officers involved in the raid for the shooting death of Louisville resident Breonna Taylor, instead indicting one officer on three counts of “wanton endangerment in the first degree” for firing his service weapon “blindly through a door and window in Taylor’s building.”
Before the game, Rose stated:
I just want people to know that blacks are hurting. And, uh, as we related to sports that are predominantly black, the WNBA, the NBA, the NFL, all of those players are performing with heavy hearts. And we’re still showing up to try to do our jobs, and I was in that position. I can’t lie to y’all. I was looking in my closet like, “I’m going to wear something fresh today, because if I say something to get me fired, then I was crisp.” That’s what I was thinking. That’s what I was thinking.
“Because when Kyle Rittenhouse in Milwaukee, as a 17-year-old, kills two people and yet three cops aren’t directly charged for killing Breonna Taylor, it shows you how they feel about black lives in America,” Rose continued. “So what I want to encourage people to do out there … my favorite sport actually is football. The important thing in that game is field position. So we are starting a game … it’s 400 years of slavery to 0. We know we’re not going to win, but you still got to continue to move the ball forward and put people behind you in a position to be successful.”
"While [NBA players] are out there … trying to win a championship, I understand that this is really painful to show up to work and still try to entertain."
— ESPN (@espn) September 24, 2020
As The Daily Wire reported, Aubrey Williams, former Louisville NAACP president and famed criminal defense lawyer who had served as former President Jimmy Carter’s lawyer, disagreed with critics of the grand jury’s decision. In an appearance on Fox News’ “Ingraham Angle,” Williams said that murder charges against the officers would have been unwarranted.
“I was asked in the very beginning and I said on the front page of The Courier-Journal that number one: the no-knock warrant and the action of the officers were not illegal. They were consistent with the law,” Williams said. “We have to understand, I said to the public, that the officers were acting under the Fourth Amendment; which says that no warrant should issue, less by probable cause. They stated probable cause to a judge who signed the warrant because she trusted the good faith, the explanation of the police officers. They then did what they were directed to do. They had no alternative. If they had not gone to the house to serve the warrant, they would not have been doing their job; as a matter of fact they could have possibly lost their jobs.”