A Black Kentucky corrections officer was fired after a video of him making jokes about Breonna Taylor’s death surfaced all over the internet, according to NBC News.
The video was made at the Kentucky State Fair and showed the officer, Turhan Knight, pretending to be an officer from the Louisville Metro Police Department recruiting for the department while gesturing at police vehicles.
“We need backup. Answer the call,” Knight said in the video. “Be a part of a great, great police department. Never mind what happened to Breonna Taylor. We killed that b***h.”
He continued, “You want to drive vehicles like this? And fly in planes? Do you want to be able to have unlimited off duty? Do you want to be able to support your family? Do you want to kill people and be able to get off for it? Join Metro Police Department.”
“We do not tolerate that. That’s disgusting,” Jerry Collins, the Department of Corrections Director, said of Knight’s video. “Makes you sick to your stomach. That officer’s never working in law enforcement again.”
Collins said the video surfaced on Tuesday, and within two days, he was able to “accelerate” the process of getting Knight out of uniform.
The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), a large organization of sworn police officers, found the video offensive and said that they weren’t going to appeal the decision to fire Knight.
“There is no appeal process going to be done on behalf of the FOP,” Daniel Johnson, the FOP’s president, said. “We believe that decision was the right decision, and that should be the final decision.”
According to WHAS 11, the Metro Police Department said that they were “disgusted by Knight’s actions, and the termination process began as soon as we confirmed the existence of the video.”
Knight released a statement to WHAS, apologizing for his actions.
“I want to first apologize to the Mother, Boyfriend and Family of Breonna Taylor because I never meant to compound or further remind them of the tragedy that has taken place,” Knight said. “And I also apologize to my family, friends, the community & my church members because I knew better, and I ask them to forgive me. I understand the severity of my actions and why I am currently in this position, and the insensitive comments I made in a joking way should not have been made AT ALL.”
He continued, “I accept what has been taken away from me, and I understand why. I also apologize to anyone within law enforcement, especially at my former department that I share relationships with that may be affected by this, I am sorry. My feelings towards a certain group/situation should not reflect on all law enforcement within this city who do their jobs honorably.”
Knight also claimed that the information his former colleagues gave the media was misleading.
“I have no desire to go back & forth or mud sling I just would like truths to be told from my former department and the FOP that formerly represented me,” he stated. “I was not fired by them, I did, in fact, issue resignation for another job almost 3 weeks ago prior to the video that was recorded last Thursday/early Friday morning.”
Knight said he was given suspension and said a writeup possibly existed, but he wasn’t served any paperwork, including termination paperwork. The former officer said he was supposed to leave two days after an admin meeting he had.
“I was misled, and I feel that I’m being used for an agenda by powers that be out of opportunity/cover-up, and that is unfair,” Knight wrote in his statement. “I should have received punishment, I don’t deny that, but blatant lies told against me to look good for media purposes is just wrong. I will have a lawyer address the release of certain info and the truthfulness of statements released/given in reference to me that are false and request media retractions.”
Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville police officers who lied about having a warrant to enter her home for a drug investigation in March 2020. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, opened fire on the officers presuming they were intruders. Officers fired back, ultimately killing Taylor.