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Justice for Breonna Taylor has been the cry on many people’s lips since her death on March 13, 2020. Taylor was shot in the apartment she shared with her sister when Louisville officers executed a no-knock search warrant.
Who She Was
Taylor was an emergency room technician for the University of Louisville Health and had just worked four overnight shifts. She had a dinner date with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, at a steak house.
Normally they would have gone to his place for the evening — he lives alone — however, Taylor’s sister/roommate was away so they went there instead. The 26-year-old inspiring nurse had big dreams for her future. She just purchased a new car and was saving for her our house.
The young couple was even trying to start a family. They had begun choosing baby names. Her last words to Walker were “Turn off the TV,” as she fell dozed off next to him.
On that fateful night, three officers entered the couple’s apartment wearing “plain clothes,” meaning they were not in official gear at the time. They used a battering ram to bust through Taylor’s apartment door.
Fearing for their lives, Walker armed himself with his registered firearm and shot his weapon. Authorities returned fire; one blindly shot into the apartment’s window and patio door. Bullets tore through nearly every room in Taylor’s apartment and two nearby apartments.
As the gunsmoke cleared it became clear that Taylor had been hit five times in the gunfire. Taylor bled out on the floor. The police had been there due to some involvement Taylor may have had in a case with her ex-boyfriend.
Outcries for justice ring out as her silhouette is used as a symbol of racial injustice and police violence. Her name on the lips of Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Kamala Harris.
Grand Jury Indicted Only 1 Former Officer
On Sept. 23, a Kentucky grand jury found that one of the three officers — involved in Taylor’s death — was indicted on reckless endangerment charges. The other two officers are believed to have been justified for firing their weapons; due to Walker firing first.
Most believe Walker was justified in discharging his weapon due to thinking intruders were invading his girlfriend’s apartments. Outrage spread across the nation as the sickening news spread.
Protestors immediately took to the streets to let their voices be heard. Justice for Taylor and all those who have been unjustly killed police officers rang out.
Around 8:30 p.m. EST, mere hours after the decision, reports of shots fired began flooding in. Two officers were shot and brought to the hospital. Luckily, they only suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Four months after Taylor was shot, Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced the end of the State’s involvement in the investigation. According to Cameron, the two officers who shot Taylor were serving a warrant.
They were found to be justified in shooting the young woman because Walker fired first — despite the fact that Walker did not know. According to only one — out of a dozen witnesses — the police announced themselves only once prior to ramming the door.
According to the Shelby County Detention Center, the only one indicted in the incident — Brett Hankison — was booked and released on bond.
Outraged protesters hit the street, justice for Taylor being chanted. One over jealous person pulled out a weapon and shot two officers. They were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Larynzo Johnson, 26, was charged in shooting the officers. He entered the plea of not guilty on Sept. 25, and the judge placed a $1 million bail. His next court date is scheduled for Oct. 5.
Will Louisville Ever See Peace Again?
State Rep. Attica Scott and her daughter were among 24 people arrested during a Breonna Taylor protest held on Sept. 24. According to police records, Scott and her 19-year-old daughter Ashanti were charged with unlawful assembly, rioting, and failure to disperse.
In August, Scott pre-filed legislation to put an end to Kentucky’s no-knock warrants. She fittingly named it “Breonna’s Law.” Scott claims to be innocent of all charges. The only thing she was trying to do was peacefully seek authorized sanctuary at the church before the start of the curfew.
“I’m very traumatized,” she said about the situation.
Although this had not been Scott’s first protest it had been the first time she had been arrested. The “false” charges and arrest have not deterred Scott. She plans on continuing her fight for justice and equality for all.
Written by Sheena Robertson
The Washington Post: Kentucky grand jury declines to file homicide charges in death of Breonna Taylor; Kevin Williams, Tim Craig and Marisa Iati
CNN: Kentucky’s only Black female legislator arrested in Breonna Taylor protest; Elizabeth Joseph
The New York Times: Breonna Taylor’s Life Was Changing. Then the Police Came to Her Door; Todd Heisler
New York Daily News: Suspect accused of shooting 2 Louisville police officers pleads not guilty; NANCY DILLON
The Washington Post: Breonna Taylor updates: Calls mount for more information on grand jury’s decision-making; Derek Hawkins, Meryl Kornfield, Timothy Bella, Maria Sacchetti, Marisa Iati, Mark Berman, Hannah Knowles
Featured Image by FloNight Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Karl Schultz’s Flickr Page -Creative Commons License