Breonna Taylor was a 26-year old EMT who wanted to become a nurse. She had dreams of owning her a home for her family and her whole life ahead of her.
On March 13, 2020 she was killed by three officers of the Louisville Metro Police (Kentucky). Her door was forced open by the police on the basis of a ‘no-knock warrant’. The LMPD was searching for a suspect who was already in custody and fired 20 shots, 8 of which hit Breonna.
They were looking for drugs, none of which were found at her apartment.
Her family filed a ‘ wrongful-death lawsuit’ against the officers of the LMPD involved in her death.
The incident report was finally released and it is virtually empty, citing none of her injuries.
This is a very clear case for those who still do not get it. Or who are looking for reasons not to. How is this due process?
Breonna Taylor’s wrongful death is being re-visited in the wave of the #BlackLivesMatter movement catalyzed by the global outcry of George Floyd’s death.
His murder was recorded on video by 17-year-old Darnella Frazier. Darnella was taking her nine-year-old cousin to a shop near her home when she saw the incident and hit record. The incident was deeply (and understandably so) traumatizing for the teenager. She reported seeing Mr. Floyd’s struggle each time she shut her eyes. She will probably have to deal with that for some time, if not her entire life.
Now this is the thing: The world would not have been forced to acknowledge what happened to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor or any other victim of racialized police brutality had it not been for that video.
It’s important to acknowledge what Darnella that young woman endured, not only as a witness, but the backlash she faced for posting it online. As if it wasn’t bad enough to be a witness to a murder, but one is doubly traumatized for speaking up.
It’s so important to recognize that those who are killed are not the only victims. Families are broken, communities are hurt, future generations grow up with greater uncertainty and distrust. Generational trauma is reproduced.
Breonna’s name did not get as much focus as her death was not recorded in such a graphic way. But that’s not the way justice _ought_ to operate. We shouldn’t need to see the graphic murder of a young woman in her home just to take her life and death seriously.
And it’s not just her or George Floyd. There are too many to name.
Let’s also remember Tony McDade, a black transgender man who was killed two days after George Floyd passed.
Let’s also remember Atatiana Jackson, a black woman shot in her home whilst playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew. (I remember reading about the incident when it came out. It chilled me to the bone.)
That list grows, even now: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/say-their-names-list-people-injured-killed-police-officer-involved-incidents/
There’s just so many others. We’re talking about them now, but this has been going on for a long, long time.
Multiple events and vigils have been held in her honor for what would have been Breonna’s 27th birthday.
There’s a lot of real grief and anger around this – let’s hope it leads the way to real change.
#sayhername #saytheirnames #breonnataylor #blacklivesmatter
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