Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old woman living in Louisville, Ky., was fatally shot in her apartment by the police on March 13. The officers, Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly , were investigating a drug case involving two individuals, neither of whom was Taylor. According to the testimonies from 16 individuals, after entering unannounced, the police fired more than 20 rounds into her apartment after Breonna’s boyfriend shot an officer in the leg, believing someone was attempting to break into their home. Taylor was struck over eight times. Neither Taylor nor her boyfriend had a criminal history, and no drugs were found in the apartment.
Breonna’s family filed a wrongful death suit on April 27. According to the lawsuit, the police had already found and arrested the main suspect at the time they entered into her home, but still “proceeded to spray gunfire into the residence with a total disregard for the value of human life.”
Today would have been Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday. As of today, almost three months after her death, her killers still face no charges. Only on May 21 did the FBI announce the opening of an investigation into her death. To honor Breonna Taylor and demand justice today, here is a list of concrete action items you can take. Many of these were inspired by/sourced from writer and culture critic Cate Young’s #BirthdayForBreonna initiative, which you can check out here.
1. Sign the petition calling for justice: As of today, no charges have been brought against Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove or Jonathan Mattingly, the officers who shot Breonna in her home. Take 10 seconds to sign a petition demanding that charges be pressed and her killers be brought to justice.
2. Send an email to the Kentucky Attorney General, the Mayor and the Governor: Don’t let elected officials forget about Breonna Taylor. Use this link (Cate Young’s #BirthdayForBreonna action items) to send a pre-scripted email demanding justice for Breonna (under Action Item #3). Let them know we have not forgotten, and we continue to demand justice.
3. Donate to Breonna’s family: Almost three months after her death, Breonna’s family is still engaged in the constant fight for justice. Donate directly to her family to help support them through this time.
4. Donate to the Louisville Community Bail Fund: The Louisville Community Bail Fund “exists to not only bail out folks, but provide post-release support to get them from jail, fed, and to a situation of safety.” Donate here to help out Louisville protesters who are on the ground right now fighting for justice.
5. Use your social media platforms to #sayhername: Today, use the hashtags #SayHerName and #BirthdayforBreonna to spread the word and raise visibility. Post on Instagram stories, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Says Young, post “anything that will remind people that she lived and her life mattered.”