Yesterday would’ve been Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday. But she’s not here to celebrate, because shortly after midnight on March 13 2020, Louisville police entered her apartment unannounced and, after a brief confrontation with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, shot her eight times. Taylor’s death went unreported in the media for weeks, under the shroud of the coronavirus, but as more details emerged it was clear that her death was one that the world needed to know about. The officers still have not been fired or charged.
Had Taylor been alive to celebrate her 27th birthday, there’s no doubt she’d be spending it with her family and friends, especially her boyfriend, who was then arrested and charged with first-degree assault and attempted murder of a police officer, when he was trying to defend their home. Eventually, those charges were dropped by a judge, but that’s not enough.
Breonna was an award-winning EMT (emergency medical technician), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and attended the University of Kentucky. Taylor’s family and friends said she lived a beautiful life. Her mom says her daughter had plans to become a nurse, buy a house, and start a family. Now, she doesn’t even get to celebrate her birthday.
In our fight to remind the world that Black Lives Matter, we need to remember those Black lives also include Black women. Why haven’t the officers in the failed no-knock warrant killing of Breonna been arrested yet? What took so long for the FBI’s Louisville office to launch an investigation? Did they expect the community to sit back and not do anything about another Black woman’s death?
In all of these instances and the lack of justice from her death, once again proves that Taylor’s life (and death) have not been served deeply.
Serving a Black woman’s life deeply means not only saying her name in the time of death but praising her when she’s alive. Serving a Black woman’s life deeply means uplifting her in her darkest moments, which is what should be happening to Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, who singlehandedly pressured the local authorities and government officials in Louisville to take action.
And now, in serving the memory of Breonna Taylor’s life, and ensuring that justice is finally served, there are action items created by writer Cate Young.
- Sign the Change.org petition demanding justice.
- Donate to her family’s GoFundMe.
- Send an email to the Kentucky General Attorney. Simply input your own information and the rest will self-populate.
- Use your social media accounts for good by posting #BirthdayForBreonna and #SayHerName.
- Finally, if you’re in the Louisville area, show up to the vigil being held June 6 at the Louisville Metro Hall of Justice at 5 p.m. with balloons, that will be released at 5:45 p.m.
So on what would’ve been her 27th birthday today, let’s speak her name: Breonna Taylor.
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