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Republican Women Play Footage of Breonna Taylor’s Death at Public Event Celebrating One of the Cops Involved

How deeply broken do you have to be as a human being to think this is OK?

A framed photo of Breonna Taylor with a red rose laying on top of it.

The Republican Women’s Club of South Central Kentucky is a vile hate group. They recently held an event in recognition of one of the cops involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor, at a restaurant of all places because so insidious is white supremacy in American society that these people are comfortable holding what is essentially a celebration of murder in public. (Meanwhile, peacefully protesting outside of a restaurant is still an unacceptable trampling of conservative freedoms, remember.) Not only that, but they showed footage of the raid on Taylor’s home right there in the goddamned restaurant. How do we know this? Diners not affiliated with the event saw/heard the murder while they were trying to eat. Per The New Republic:

The event took place on Tuesday at Anna’s Greek Restaurant, a well-known local restaurant in Bowling Green, with a dining area and second-floor space where events can be held. There, former Louisville Metro Police Department Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, one of the officers who conducted the no-knock warrant and raid that killed Taylor in March 2020, reportedly shared photos and blared video footage with gunshot noises.

The restaurant was open to the public at the time of the event. Guests, some of whom had made reservations, were not informed by management about the last-minute event happening upstairs. Guests, including people of color, there for their own dinner plans were then shocked by what appeared to be a bustling event celebrating an officer who was part of the raid that killed a Black woman in her own home.

We are a broken society. The article continues:

Cayce Johnson, a guest at the restaurant that night, told The New Republic that the lights dimmed in the middle of their meal. “The woman comes back on and introduces Jonathan Mattingly, and everyone just roared upstairs—applause, cheers, and our mouths just dropped.” Sound carried throughout Anna’s, a retrofitted old church.

If you are like me and like to believe that people are inherently good and will do the right thing when presented with the opportunity to do so, well, be prepared to completely have your worldview shattered. Not only did the restaurant owner know what was happening when it was happening, he all but threatened patrons when they complained about the deeply inappropriate and vile nature of what was going on. Per The New Republic:

Katelyn Jones, another diner, told TNR the event also included a raffle and jokes about Covid-19. She said the event was initially so loud her father couldn’t hear anything at the table.

After realizing the event included Mattingly, Johnson and her friends sought out the restaurant owner, Vilson Qehaja. Qehaja responded to the group’s concerns by literally shrugging his shoulders, according to video footage. “I have no idea what’s happening, so,” he said as the group complained about the presentation on Taylor. “I have nothing to do with that, so.”

[…]

“He was drinking his coffee and staring at us, raising his eyebrows, kind of intimidating us, like, ‘What are you going to do?’” Johnson said. Qehaja’s behavior mimicked what event attendees upstairs allegedly were doing, as guests claimed men from the audience glared down from the second-floor balcony at restaurantgoers, seeming to warn them not to disrupt their event.

America, ain’t she grand?

Naturally, because American society exists to protect businesses first, Yelp has shut down reviews for the restaurant as of 1/25/2023, because capitalism must be protected at all costs. However, the BG Freedom Walkers recently arranged a protest at the restaurant. Per WBKO:

“That’s just wrong. It’s just absolutely wrong. It’s not okay,” said former Anna’s employee, Aaron Preuett, “That’s intimate information, and that should not have happened.”

Preuett said even after everything he’d seen working at Anna’s, he was still surprised.

“To take it to that level, that’s detestable, there’s no other word for it,” Preuett said.

Imagine what a racist POS you have to be to surprise an ex-employee at the depths of what a scumbag you are. If these people had any shame or self-reflection that might give them pause, but we all know bottom-feeders like them don’t.

The article continues:

The Freedom Walkers say Anna’s isn’t the only party to blame though, and that the Republican Women’s Club must take responsibility for inviting Mattingly.

“He probably didn’t think he was going to get this big of a response by allowing that to happen, because they thought it was hush hush,” said BG Freedom Walkers Founder, Karika Nelson. “There’s always somebody watching, it’s always going to come to light.”

Nelson says, while the customers of Anna’s deserve an apology from both the restaurant and Republican Women’s Club, the Freedom Walkers are past that point.

“The event should have never taken place. They should have never brought Jonathan Mattingly into Bowling Green, so we’re passed an apology,” Nelson said. “But for the customers that went through all of that last Tuesday, they deserve an apology from the owner. That’s the least that he could do.”

WBKO has made several attempts to contact Anna’s Greek Restaurant, as well as the Republican Women’s Club, but has not gotten a reply at this time.

I think if there’s anything positive to be taken away from this horrible, awful, depraved situation it’s that these people are being watched and that there are members in the community that are willing to hold these people accountable for their actions if no one else is.

(featured image: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Frontline Action Hub)

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