Update: On Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020, Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced that a Kentucky grand jury has filed no charges against the LMPD officers directly related to Breonna Taylor’s death.
LMPD detective Brett Hankison has been charged for shooting blindly into apartments neighboring Breonna Taylor’s. This indictment is for the bullets that could have harmed the people in neighboring apartments, the ones that missed Breonna Taylor — in listing the victims, it does not count the murder of Breonna Taylor by police.
This ruling is disgraceful. It fails to hold police accountable for abuse of power and violence — especially in communities of color. It fails to uphold justice and safety for Black lives in Kentucky, and also for the Black lives watching how Louisville has handled these tragic events.
While justice has been flagrantly disregarded, you can still help. Many people that have been protesting in Louisville have been arrested, and donating to the Louisville Bail Fund will work to help those people who have sought to demand justice.
Though the city has spoken, we still must do everything we can to support Black lives.
Protests have emerged in all 50 states across the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was previously charged with third-degree-murder and manslaughter, but as of June 3rd the charge was elevated to second-degree-murder. Former officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng have now been charged with aiding and abetting murder. This move is largely seen as a result of the protests happening across the country.
But there is still work to be done, namely in the case of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was shot at least eight times on March 13th by Louisville police during a raid on her home. The raid, according to The Washington Post, was illegal. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, alleges that the police beat down their door without ever identifying themselves. There have been no arrests and no charges filed.
Today would have been Taylor’s 27th birthday. Her family and many #BlackLivesMatter protestors are demanding justice, urging us not to forget her name in the wake of these protests. Writer Cate Young (battymamzelle on Instagram) has organized a campaign with help from Victoria Wilson, Jane Shin, Busy Phillips, Jill Cartwright and Zosha Millman providing direct material support to achieve justice for Breonna. Here’s how you get involved:
1. Make a donation
Breonna’s family has set up an official GoFundMe in her memory, and are asking for donations of any size. Whatever you can contribute will go a long way to funding their fight to getting the justice they deserve. Make your donation here.
2. Sign the petition
The official petition demanding justice for Breonna has not yet met its goal. This only takes a minute, and will help in holding the Louisville police department responsible, as well as helping create legislation to ban “no-knock” warrants and hopefully prevent this from happening to anyone else. You can sign the petition here.
3. Send an email
Contacting Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Mayor Greg Fischer and Governor Andy Beshear directly via email is another effective (and free) way to help get justice for Breonna. The best part is that it’s been made super simple. All you have to do is click this link, and your email app will be opened, complete with the needed email addresses as well as a template. You only need to fill in your name, where you’re a resident of and hit send.
One person not included in this template that you can take a few moments to add is District Attorney Thomas Wine, who can be reached at: [email protected]
4. Make a phone call
Contacting these folks doesn’t stop at emailing them, we need to call their offices and leave messages. The following is a list of phone numbers for each person:
- Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron: 502-696-5300
- Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer: 502-574-2003
- Governor Andy Beshear: 502-564-2611
Here’s a script you can use if you’re unsure of what to say:
I am calling on behalf of Breonna Taylor. We demand that John Mattingly, Detective Brett Hankison and Detective Myles Cosgrove are fired immediately and charged with manslaughter and negligence. We demand that a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate the Louisville Police Department immediately. We demand that a special session be convened to ban no-knock warrants immediately. We demand justice for Breonna Taylor. You cannot shoot an innocent civilian and call it a “clerical error.”
5. Hashtag your posts on social media
Whether you’re tweeting, posting to Instagram or sharing an article on Facebook, be sure to hashtag #SayHerName and #BirthdayForBreonna so the two can become trending topics across social media platforms. Everyone is encouraged to remind people that her life mattered, and that we are demanding justice for her as well when we attend protests, sign petitions, etc.
You can download some free images to share here.
6. Make a donation to the Louisville Community Bail Fund
The protestors on the ground in Louisville fighting for Breonna need our support as well. A donation the city’s bail fund could go a long way in helping them afford bail if they’ve been arrested. Make your donation here.