Turhan Knight, who's been a Louisville Metro Corrections officer since 2018, was terminated after appearing in a parody video that quickly circulated online. Footage shows Knight dressed in a uniform and walking past police cars, saying that the police department is trying to "repair broken relationships in the community."
“Be a part of a great, great police department. Never mind what happened to Breonna Taylor,” Knight says in the video. "We killed that b****."
He continues: "Do you want to kill people and be able to get off for it? Join Louisville Metro Police Department and answer the call.”
Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was killed during a botched Louisville police raid back in May 2020, sparking nationwide protests and calls for the officers involved to face justice. Since then, four current and former Louisville cops were federally charged in Taylor's death. The Justice Department is also investigating the police department over their practices.
In an interview with the Courier-Journal, Knight claims the video was meant to be a joke and condemn how “some officers handled past situations.”
It didn't take long for backlash and controversy to reach city officials, who responded by immediately firing Knight, according to reporters.
“There is zero excuse for his insensitivity. He has brought great shame upon Metro Corrections and all of Louisville metro government,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in an emailed statement. “I deeply apologize to the family of Breonna Taylor and all of the hard working and ethical employees of Louisville metro government. One person will not tarnish the good work we attempt to do on behalf of our residents.”
Even though Knight says he didn't mean to offend Taylor's family, Tamika Palmer, the slain Black woman's mother, blasted him and law enforcement for the video.
“I think the video is in very poor taste and am disgusted that he thought a joke about my daughter’s death was a laughable moment,” Palmer said, per WDRB. “It continues to show me that LMPD and those who work with them have no regard for their criminal actions against my daughter and continue to disrespect me and my family.”