A Georgia school district says it is investigating a teacher after a video surfaced in which she told a class that Breonna Taylor’s death by police gunfire was her own fault.
The video, posted to Instagram on Friday, shows what the user says is an online class being taught by Pebblebrook High School forensic science teacher Susan McCoy, who seemed to be set off by an announcement from the school’s principal, Dana Giles, regarding Taylor.
“Dr. G is on the announcements reading about, what’s her name, Breonna something? The one who was killed in the gunfire from the cops,” McCoy began. “I’m sorry she was killed, but you know, when you hang out with people with guns who shoot at cops, you’re likely to get caught in the crossfire.”
“She was hanging out with a guy who was wanted on charges. They knocked … and he fired at them and they fired back,” McCoy continued, incorrectly.
“You know, if you hang out with people who are criminals and they shoot at a cop you’re likely to get caught in the crossfire, it does not matter what color your skin is, you’re likely to get caught in the crossfire,” McCoy repeated. “I’m really truly I’m, it’s sad that she put herself in that position but she put herself in that position by hanging out with somebody she shouldn’t have been with.”
Several students pushed back.
“That was her ex-boyfriend. They came to the wrong house,” one said.
“The right guy was already in custody earlier that day,” said a student.
“Yeah, ok, like I said, I‘m sorry she’s dead,” McCoy responded, before a student asked to change the subject. “Alright, let’s talk about science please,” he said.
Taylor was with boyfriend Kenneth Walker when plainclothes officers entered her apartment in the early morning hours of March 13 of last year to serve a no-knock search warrant in a drug case.
Walker, who had a license to carry a weapon, called 911 believing the raid was a home invasion and opened fire, wounding one of the officers in the leg.
Police then returned fire, and Taylor was killed.
Taylor’s home was raided in a narcotics investigation of her former boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover. Her family has said Glover lived in a different part of the city and was already in police custody when Taylor’s home was raided.
McCoy did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.
Giles released a letter to the “Pebblebrook Family” on Saturday but referred NBC News’ requests for comment to Cobb County School District.
A district spokesperson said, “The District is aware of the allegations, is investigating, and will follow any relevant District policy. As a District, we expect every member of our staff to treat each other with respect and understanding.”
In Giles’ letter, she wrote that the video “has created frustration, sadness, and anger from some of our students, staff, and community.”
“As the leader of our diverse community, it is my expectation that we show respect, empathy, and wisdom in our actions and with our words,” Giles wrote.
But she added that “regardless of opinion or emotion, what was said will be weighed against the rules, policies, and regulations which guide our school and the laws mandated by the state.”
The deaths of Taylor in Louisville and of George Floyd while he was in Minneapolis police custody, and the initial decisions not to charge the individuals involved in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery near Brunswick, Georgia, fueled a summer of international protests against systemic racism.
Despite the outcry against Taylor’s shooting, no criminal charges were brought in her death.