A group of prominent women in entertainment and activism is seeking justice for Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was murdered by police officers in her Louisville, Kentucky home.
“Do you know what happened to Breonna Taylor?” askedAlicia Keys, Kerry Washington, Cardi B, Ali Wong, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lena Waithe, and more on their social media channels Wednesday. The posts were part of a campaign spearheaded by Keys and the rapper Rapsody, in partnership with Tamika Mallory, founder of the organization Until Freedom, to hold the officers responsible for her death accountable.
Keys shared a video on Twitter and Instagram in which she appeared alongside Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother, who explained how Taylor was killed.
Three Louisville Metro Police Department (LPMD) officers raided Taylor’s apartment while she was sleeping under a “no-knock” warrant on March 13. Sergeant John Mattingly and Detectives Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison were looking for two people who were already in police custody and did not live there. The officers fired 22 gunshots and fatally shot Taylor eight times.
Palmer described her daughter as “the most essential worker” she will ever know in the video. Taylor, an aspiring nurse, worked as an EMT amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic when she died.
Palmer filed a lawsuit against the LPMD and the FBI opened an investigation, but no charges have been made against the officers responsible for Taylor’s death.
“Breonna should not be dead,” Palmer said in the video. “Some days I feel like I can’t breathe without her. This should never happen to another family. I am Breonna Taylor’s mother. Say her name.”
Taylor is one of several Black Americans recently killed by police that sparked international outcry and demands for an end to systemic racism. Protests emerged following the murder of George Floyd on May 25 and have successfully led to reform in cities across the United States.
As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to grow, activists want to ensure Black women are not forgotten in criminal justice reform. Black women face the same biases as Black men in police interactions, but their stories do not always gain as much attention from the public or media.
“Now that we know what happened to Breonna Taylor, it is time for us to act and get justice for her and her family,” Mallory said.
In the campaign video, Until Freedom provides contact information for local Kentucy officials and encourages people to demand a full investigation of the case, the firing of the police officers who killed Taylor, and for charges to be brought against them:
CALL – The Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer at 502-574-2003 and demand he fire the officers who murdered Breonna Taylor.
CALL – The Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron at 502-696-5300 and demand he CHARGE the officers who murdered Breonna Taylor.
CALL – The Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder at (502) 574-7111 and demand he complete the investigation immediately and turn it over to Breonna’s lawyers and the Attorney General.
CALL – CALL your members of the Council and DEMAND they vote to BAN No Knock Warrants so this never happens again. Link here: https://louisvilleky.gov/government/metro-council/email-council-member