On March 13, Breonna Taylor was murdered by police in her own home. This past Sunday marked 170 days since her death, and while her name may have stopped "trending" on social media, the battle for holding her killers accountable continues.
On Monday night, tennis superstar Naomi Osaka brought some much-needed attention to the pending case against Taylor's murderers, wearing a mask with Breonna Taylor's name on it to her first match at the 2020 US Open.
Osaka told interviewers, "I'm aware that tennis is watched all over the world, and maybe there is someone that doesn't know Breonna Taylor's story," she said. "For me, just spreading awareness. I feel like the more people know the story, then the more interesting or interested they'll become in it."
Over the last six months, none of the Louisville Police officers involved in the shooting have been arrested. Det. Brett Hankison was fired on June 23. The other two officers — Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove — are on administrative leave, CNN reports.
Not only have the prosecutors in Taylor's case absolutely fumbled the concept of justice by failing to make any meaningful arrests, now they have gone even further by trying to justify her murder. According to NPR, prosecutors attempted to tie Taylor to a life of crime after her death by offering a man charged with running a completely unrelated drug syndicate a plea deal if he would name Taylor as a member of his gang.
Instead of making any meaningful progress, Breonna Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was arrested for firing at officers in self-defence with his legally owned gun when officers opened fire on the innocent, sleeping couple in the middle of the night.
Marking a small step in the right direction, the Breonna Taylor law, which bans no-knock warrants, was passed in Louisville earlier this month (it was passed in response to the officers using a battering ram to enter Taylor's apartment while she and her boyfriend slept), however, there's still a long way to go.
The campaign to bring justice to Taylor and her family is part of the ongoing #SayHerName movement. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women experience the highest level of homicides of any racial group, but their deaths are frequently left unsolved.
Although her name has stopped trending and the news cycle has moved on, it is crucial that her murder not be forgotten. Here are some of the most effective ways to demand justice for Taylor’s death, while supporting both her family and the Louisville protesters.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer: Demands for justice can be made by calling Fischer’s office at (502) 574-2003 or by filling out the contact form on his site.
Color of Change – #JusticeforBre: Color of Change is calling for all of the officers responsible to be fired immediately.
Fight for Breonna: This petition outlines a list of demands that will bring support to Taylor’s mother Tamika Palmer. Some of the demands have already been met, including the dismissal of Walker’s charges and a ban on no-knock warrants in Louisville.
Change.org – Justice for Breonna: Law student Lorelai HoJay launched this Change.org petition to demand charges be filed against the officers involved, as well as damages paid to Taylor’s family by the LMPD. It has nearly met its goal of nine million signatures.
Breonna Taylor’s Family: An official GoFundMe page has raised over $6 million for Taylor’s family through their loss, surpassing its original $500,000 goal.
Louisville Bail Funds: Protesters have rallied in support of Taylor and the calls for justice daily throughout June. Donating to the bail fund provides support for those who have been arrested in the process.