Breonna Taylor won’t get ‘true justice’ until officers are fired or convicted, protesters say

Protesters who’ve spent more than 110 days calling for justice for Breonna Taylor said a $12 million settlement that includes several police changes is a step toward closure for the city and the 26-year-old’s family.

But they won’t be satisfied until the officers who shot and killed the unarmed Black woman are fired and criminally charged in relation to her death, several protesters said after the announcement.

“Yes, it’s a pretty decent settlement. Breonna’s family deserves that and a million times more,” said Delaney Haley, a community organizer who has been a regular at protests. “But we won’t have true justice until the cops who did that have to face some kind of repercussions. Fire, arrest, indict, convict. It’s just that simple.”

The demand has remained consistent since protests began in Louisville on May 28, more than two months after Taylor was killed during a narcotics investigation at her apartment.

Several protesters said any settlement seems like a “slap in the face” as long as officers involved in Taylor’s death remain on the city’s payroll.

Officer Bret Hankison was fired in June for his role in the shooting. Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officer Myles Cosgrove, who also returned fire at Taylor’s home after Taylor’s boyfriend shot Mattingly, as well as Detective Joshua Jaynes, who applied for a “no-knock” search warrant at her address, remain on administrative reassignment.

“It still does not give closure to that mother who wakes up every day knowing that the men who killed her daughter are getting paid off the backs of taxpayers,” said Shemaeka Shaw, founder of the Broken Hearted Homes Renters Association, a community organization that works to prevent evictions.

Mayor Greg Fischer “could have fired them a long time ago and worried about court cases down the line,” Shaw said.

City officials and attorneys for Taylor’s family announced the settlement during a news conference Tuesday, where Fischer laid out a series of changes involving search warrants, community relations, and police accountability.

The changes include establishing a housing credit program to encourage officers to live within certain low-income census tracts; retaining social workers to support and assist officers on dispatched runs; and requiring a commanding officer to review and approve all search warrants before an officer seeks judicial approval.

Tyra Walker, a special education teacher who co-chairs the Kentucky Alliance Against Racial and Political Repression, said she’s happy the city will hire mental health specialists to work within the police department, but more reforms and community input are needed if Louisville wants to fully improve equality within its criminal justice system.

“We will continue to push for policy change because if we don’t change the policies, we will be back here fighting the same fight 50 years from now, if not sooner. … A change is going to come, and it is going to be a long fight and hard work,” Walker said. “And I’m willing to put in that work.”

During the news conference, attorneys representing Taylor’s family and other speakers agreed that the changes in the settlement are just one step toward achieving justice for Taylor.

Without any reforms, attorney Lonita Baker said, a settlement between the city and Taylor’s family was “non-negotiable.”

“We recognize that this reform is not all-encompassing and there’s still work to be done,” Baker said. “We commit our time, our talent and our resources to continue to work with the community to fight the systemic racism plague in our city.”

Haley agreed the changes are a good start toward improving the police department, but she said she’s wary of incremental changes to a system designed to “oppress people of color.”

“Reforms in such a biased, corrupt system, it sounds good, but we’ve kind of seen these things happen before where they may be doled out to pacify people,” she said. “I’m hoping that’s not the case with this. I hope it’s true reform and makes a large difference in the community. I guess we’ll see.”

Trump isn’t first president to abuse the Constitution, but he’s gone so far we need a reckoning

The Constitution’s carefully designed structure of checks and balances, electoral responsibility, and legal accountability has failed in significant and ominous ways during the Donald Trump presidency, but not all of these failures are unique to Trump. Many build on trends that have been apparent for years and practices engaged in by prior administrations. But they have presented themselves in, particularly extreme or virulent forms during the past four years.

Exactly 233 years after the Constitution was signed, on Sept. 17, 1787, it is worth looking at why this has happened and what we can do about it.

Some of these constitutional failures stem from provisions in the document itself, such as the concentration of military and administrative authority in the person of the president. In such cases, the expansion of presidential power might be expected under the so-called “unitary executive” theory.

But these otherwise innocuous design features present unique dangers when the political system has resulted in the selection of an authoritarian-minded president, or when other constitutional actors fail to produce the counteracting checks intended to hold presidential power in place and assure its responsible use.

Law must require tax return disclosure

The result is that some constitutional provisions have been violated and others have been inexplicably ignored or treated as inconsequential. Still, others have fallen into disuse, altering the Constitution’s balance and in effect tilting power toward a single person. Powers have become rearranged, scrambling the framers’ design and thwarting the checks that each branch properly has on the others.

A few examples prove the point. The core principle underlying constitutional checks and balances is that Congress legislates and the president executes, but recent presidents have abused emergency declarations and executive orders to grasp legislative powers. New laws should bar emergency declarations from lasting more than a fixed number of days without congressional approval, and authorize either house of Congress to challenge any such declarations or executive orders in court. Further, no president should have the power to reprogram funds where Congress has already considered the issue and rejected the funding, such as Trump did by using Defense Department authorizations to partially build his border wall.

No president should be able to evade the Senate confirmation process for political appointees by naming perpetual “acting” appointees as Trump has done, and judicial enforcement processes should give teeth to the Constitution’s emoluments clauses, congressional oversight powers, and the Hatch Act. The law should require presidents to disclose their tax returns. Except to repel a military attack, the power to engage in a war should return to Congress as the founders intended.

In 1944, Friedrich von Hayek wrote an influential book, “The Road to Serfdom,” mapping the tendencies of national socialism to erode democracy and individual freedom. Unchecked and imbalanced government represents another road to serfdom: the tendencies toward the tyrannical concentration of power in a single leader.

Restore our checks and balances

The road back to the rule of law consists of restoring the original understanding of the Constitution. Benjamin Franklin, answering an inquiry about the nature of the government fashioned by the Constitutional Convention, famously answered: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

The experience of present times should inspire Americans to seek to restore the framers’ original design for a constitutional republic — a system of limited government, meaningful checks and balances, and accountable officeholders.

Where governmental structures and practices depart from the Constitution’s plain meaning or clear logic, they are, to put it simply, unconstitutional. And when the executive branch exceeds its constitutional authority, Congress shirks its constitutional duty, or the courts fail to enforce constitutional commands, these institutions place our republican democracy at risk. Worse still, they threaten the liberty — our liberty — that is founded more on the Constitution’s carefully wrought institutional structure and limits on the power of the federal branches than on its enumerated rights.

The way back is to restore our constitutional checks and balances as they were understood from our nation’s founding. Regardless of who wins in November, shoring up these norms serves as the surest safeguard of republican constitutionalism and the rule of law.

How QA can strengthen healthcare technology

In healthcare, digital workplace solutions help us mitigate a number of mistakes driven by human factors. Yet, technology is not flawless and demands continuous testing as part of the delivery pipeline to ensure it is fit for purpose.

This is particularly important when it comes to the software used in hospitals and other medical facilities as any mistake can jeopardize lives. To reduce technical errors, companies employ quality assurance (QA) and software testing.

The following is a guide to how QA and testing improve medical applications and why companies are turning to QA outsourcing to meet their growing business needs.

Testing internal systems for healthcare facilities

The first in line is medical practice management (MPM) software, as its quality is vital for the smooth functioning of medical institutions. This is particularly true for those facilities with multiple departments or multifunctional units — due to the interconnectedness of their IT systems, a single fault can put the wider infrastructure at risk.

For example, this could mean incorrectly scheduled appointments, an increase in queue and wait times for patients, and inaccurate accounting.

To avoid such issues, providers need to employ QA professionals to improve error-free performance with every software release. Let us give an example: to make sure that MPM software runs well on both Windows and Linux platforms, test engineers would use compatibility testing.

Security testing is pivotal for electronic health record (EHR) systems as EHRs handle personal data usually transmitted from facility to facility. Here, information security assumes increased importance, and it’s QA engineers’ task to verify that no vulnerabilities remain in the software or that these are minimal.

Failover and recovery testing apply to electronic medical records (EMR) to ensure that EMRs are able to overcome system failures. Additionally, this type of checks can show how efficiently software handles data-intensive workflows and how quickly it would recover after a breakdown.

Software dealing with health and well-being demands a zero-error rate. QA and testing are exactly the two disciplines that help eliminate errors before they happen.

Testing of patient-facing systems

Patient portals came to be known as indispensable tools for patients to track their treatment and medication history and view all the EHR information gathered by the hospital in their accounts. Here, they can make medical appointments and send messages to their attending physician. Additionally, these portals allow for the reviewing and payment of medical bills.

To support the work of these apps, QA engineers can perform not only performance and functional testing but also usability testing, among others, making portals appealing and user-friendly and ensuring high user adoption and satisfaction rates.

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is another integral patient-facing system. Incorporating the IoT technology, is especially useful for patients with serious chronic conditions, for example, to measure their sugar and blood pressure levels. RPM is also found in out-patient and senior care.

Full-cycle testing is vital for RPM as it covers all the essential aspects that can affect the accuracy of results and thus undermine further treatment. By testing the technology beforehand and reducing the risk of errors like incorrect readings, delays in recording data, and other, patient outcomes could be improved.

In the highly competitive digital market, it’s also important to ensure product popularity with users. UI testing is what typically verifies that software complies with the logic and requirements for graphical interfaces, looks professional, and has a uniform style.

Quality assurance not to be overlooked

HealthTech is rapidly developing, generating more solutions that are set to improve medical service and health maintenance practices. With a growing amount of software products appearing on the market, the issue of their reliability is rising as well.

To ensure the high quality and popularity of medical systems and apps, businesses need to incorporate QA and software testing into the development process. QA engineers test products throughout their lifecycles and make them more adaptable to buyers’ needs. In the long run, this drives patients’ trust, better outcomes, and general profitability.

Due to dynamic requirements and staffing considerations, healthcare providers and product companies are increasingly choosing to outsource their testing routine. This allows them to access and employ a variety of testing methods including:

· Compatibility testing

· Security testing

· Failover and recovery testing

· Performance testing

· Functional testing

· Usability testing

· And more

This list is not exhaustive, and professional QA engineers are always guided by the software specifications in their projects, coming up with a tailored set to cover every functional, usability, security, or another aspect as required.