In the News
We just found out new information about Breonna Taylor. Here's what it means for her case.
Everyone has heard the name Breonna Taylor, a 26 year old woman who was shot and killed by the police in her own home just after midnight on March 13. Her murder, alongside the deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade and many many more sparked nation-wide protests. However, it appears that not only did the police forcibly enter her house and shoot her, they did absolutely nothing to save her.
So what actually happened on March 13?
The Louisville police were sent to investigate a drug case far away from Breonna Taylor's home. They had been issued a no-knock warrant to Breonna's house because it was believed that her apartment had been used to transport the drugs. According to the police, they announced themselves as law enforcement and only fired when fired upon by Kenneth Walker, Breonna's boyfriend. They stated that Breonna died less than a minute after being shot and could not have been saved. In their report Breonna's injuries were listed as "none" despite her obviously having been shot at least 8 times. No drugs were found in the apartment.
Kenneth, who was asleep with Breonna at the time of the break in, said that the police did not identify themselves as law enforcement. They woke up to heavy banging at the door and unidentified people bursting in with a battering ram. Kenneth, thinking his home was being broken into, fired his gun. The police retaliated and hit Breonna. Contrary to the police reports, the Louisville Courier Journal cited that "Ms. Taylor coughed and struggled to breathe for at least five minutes after being shot" and that "she received no medical attention for more than 20 minutes after being struck" (The New York Times). It has also recently been revealed that the Louisville police had no reason to be conducting the raid so late at night and that they had already located the main suspect in the investigation before breaking into Breonna's home.
What is a no-knock warrant?
A no-knock warrant is something issued to detectives and police by a judge which allows them to enter people's homes without warning and permits them to use force. In response to the protests, no-knock warrants have been banned in Louisville, Kentucky. All states except Oregon and Florida still allow no-knock warrants.
What happened to Kenneth Walker?
Kenneth's shot hit an officer in the leg, but he is expected to make a full recovery. Kenneth was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, but the procescuters dropped those charges in early May.
What happened to the cops who killed Breonna Taylor?
Breonna Taylor was murdered by three police officers, Brett Hankinson, Jon Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove. Only one of them—Brett Hankinson—has been fired. Not one faces criminal charges.
What can you do?
If you are outraged by the death of Breonna Taylor, the first thing to do is demand accountability. Contact Kentucky representatives and demand that Officers Mattingly and Cosgrove are fired, all officers involved in Breonna's death be charged and arrested and that Breonna's family be paid in damages for wrongful death and negligence. You can also sign this petition to demand justice. Another extremely important thing is to post on social media. Keep Breonna Taylor's name trending. Keep fighting for the woman who should be alive today.
Breonna Taylor is not the first Black person to be killed by the police in America and, unless immediate drastic action is taken, she will not be the last. Stand up, exercise your first amendment rights and keep fighting for the countless victims of police brutality. Demand justice and do not stop until you see it.