Breonna Taylor was an award-winning EMT and model citizen. She loved her family and community, working at two hospitals as an essential worker during the pandemic.
Over six months ago, a division of the Louisville Police Department performed an illegal, unannounced drug raid on her home, executing a discriminatory, botched no-knock warrant. Not a single officer announced themselves before ramming down her door and firing 22 shots, shooting Breonna 6 times, killing her, according to her lawyer, boyfriend, neighbors, and relatives.
Also named on the warrant was Jamarcus Glover, who had already been arrested earlier that day. Officer Joshua Jaynes lied to obtain a no-knock warrant on Breonna’s residence, citing that the US Postmaster had claimed that Breonna was receiving illegal packages at her home — the US Postmaster later testified that he had never verified these claims.
Police were dressed in plainclothes when they knocked Breonna’s door down in the middle of the night; Kenneth Walker, her boyfriend, fired a single shot, believing that someone had broken in. In response, the officers fired multiple rounds, killing Breonna.
No one has been held accountable for the systemic failure that caused Breonna’s death.
1. Charges must be filed immediately. The officers involved, specifically John Mattingly, Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, Joshua Jaynes, and any other law enforcement officer involved in the death and coverup of the death of Breonna Taylor must be fired, charged, and arrested immediately. There have been no charges thus far (it has been over 7 months). Their pensions must be revoked.
2. Her family must be paid in damages for wrongful death and the negligence of the LMPD.
3. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear must speak up on behalf of Breonna, and Governor Beshear or Attorney General Daniel Cameron must appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Louisville Police Department immediately. An in-house investigation is unacceptable.
4. The "no-knock" warrant that police had used in Breonna's murder completely violates the constitutional rights to reasonable search and seizure. By law, police must be legally obligated to announce themselves before breaking and entering into a home privately owned by American civilians. Legislation to federally ban no-knock warrants must be passed in Congress and signed by the President; what happened to Breonna was a complete violation of her constitutional rights, and threatens the rights of all American citizens. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has voiced similar concerns. A special session must be intervened by Congress to discuss the constitutionality of no-knock warrants immediately.
5. WE DEMAND A NEW PROSECUTOR AND A NEW GRAND JURY HEARING. Recent testimonies released by the brave jurors involved in the grand jury hearing have revealed, quite clearly, the conflict of interest involved in allowing Daniel Cameron to serve as the prosecutor on this case. His partisan interests and position within the GOP have clearly influenced his ability to fulfill his responsibilities as an Attorney General and officer of the law. His conduct in the case, and his complete disregard for the injustice and tragedy that occurred to Breonna Taylor, is completely unacceptable.
This has carried on for over seven months. For weeks, the city treated Breonna like she was a criminal, calling her a “suspect” before finally admitting that she was an innocent, crimeless victim. She had no drugs. She committed no crime.
Yet, she is dead, and the perpetrators are facing no charges.
She was not only an exemplary citizen, but an essential one. She was a daughter, a friend, an American hero, and most importantly, a person. She deserved to be treated as such.
In what world is it fair, just, or legal, to kill a crimeless victim in their own home, and call it an accident? You cannot kill an innocent woman and chalk it up to a clerical error. At the very least, we must hold the system that killed Breonna Taylor accountable.
Let’s get justice for Breonna. Say her name.
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