Things That Matter

Beyonce Demands Justice For Breonna Taylor By Calling On Kentucky’s Attorney General To Fire The Officers Involved

In her latest effort to throttle the Black Lives Matter movement, Beyoncé is demanding justice.

Over the weekend, the music artist called on Kentucky’s attorney general in an open letter to bring justice to Breonna Taylor and “demonstrate the value of a Black woman’s life.”

In an open letter to Attorney General Daniel Cameron published on Sunday, Beyonce demanded criminal charges be brought against the three Louisville Metro Police involved in the recent murder of Breonna Taylor.

At the time of her death, Taylor was a 26-year-old EMT who’d been inside of her own apartment when police broke down her front door in an attempt to conduct a drug raid. She was shot at least eight times after the police intruded her home. The police were investigating two men believed to be selling drugs and had ostensibly been unaware the men were actually already in custody. Taylor’s family’s lawyer has denied that Taylor was ever involved in drug dealing.

In her letter to Cameron, Beyoncé underlined that in the three months since Taylor’s deaths “LMPD’s investigations have created more questions than answers.” She also lampooned the attorney general for aiding an investigation latent with discrepancies in its incident report and claims by the officers involved. She also criticized the general for keeping the officers employed and on LMPD’s payroll.

“Don’t let this case fall into the pattern of no action after a terrible tragedy,” the letter which was signed by Beyoncé and posted to her personal website stated. “Three months have passed — and Breonna Taylor’s family still waits for justice… With every death of a Black person at the hands of the police, there are two real tragedies: the death itself and the inaction and delays that follow it. This is your chance to end that pattern. Take swift and decisive action in charging the officers. The next months can not look like the last three.”

Beyonce made three specific demands at the end of her letter urging the attorney general to”demonstrate the value of a black woman’s life” by:

  1. Bring criminal charges against the three officers involved in Taylor’s killing
  2. Commit itself to transparency in the investigation and prosecution of the officers involved
  3. Investigate the LMPD’s response to the shooting

“Don’t let this case fall into the pattern of no action after a terrible tragedy,” she wrote at the end of the letter.

On Sunday, the Kentucky attorney general’s office addressed Beyonce’s letter in a statement saying “We are aware of the letter. As the letter makes requests related to the ongoing investigation involving the death of Ms. Breonna Taylor, we have no further comment.”

Beyoncé honored Taylor on her Instagram page with a post that commemorated what would have been Taylor’s 27th birthday, earlier this month.

“Justice for Breonna. Click the link in my bio to take action,” the singer wrote in her post honoring the EMT.

Lonita Baker, Taylor’s family lawyer, expressed gratitude for the activism of stars like Beyoncé in regards to calling for justice for her client.

“It has been more than 3 months since Breonna was murdered. Her killers are still in uniform,” Baker said in a statement to CNN. “Meanwhile, Atlanta’s mayor yesterday called for immediate termination of their officer, and criminal charges have been filed in Minnesota and Georgia. Here, we cannot even see an investigative file. It is time that our elected leaders, including Mayor Greg Fischer and AG Daniel Cameron, stop hiding behind the guise of a botched investigation and do the right thing.”

Officer Named in Breonna Taylor Shooting is Accused By Two Women of Sexual Assault

Fierce

Officer Named in Breonna Taylor Shooting is Accused By Two Women of Sexual Assault

@nickkroll / Twitter

Allegations of sexual assault have been raised against Officer Brett Hankison, one of the three white officers accused of fatally shooting Breonna Taylor on March 13.

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency medical technician was an aspiring nurse from Louisville, Ky. She was shot by police when they were taking part in a search warrant at the wrong apartment. The three officers involved in the shooting have not yet been charged with Taylor’s death but it’s Hankison who might be facing additional charges outside of the case.

Allegations against Hankison were raised last week by two women on social media.

According to People.com, Louisville Metro Police has reached out to the women in regards to their allegations to allow the department’s Public Integrity Unit to “initiate and conduct an investigation.”

Hankinson’s role in the death of Taylor has (along with the murder of George Floyd) sparked protests across the country.

Hankinson and the two other officers ( Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove) involved were placed on administrative leave following her death. It is now up to the department to investigate their actions. Renewed scrutiny of Hankinon’s history as an officer will hopefully influence his case. After all, Hankinson is at the center of an ongoing civil lawsuit in federal court which, according to Courier-Journal accuses “him of unrelated unnecessary arrests and harassment of another man, which Hankison has denied.”

According to Louisville TV station WHAS, in that civil lawsuit, Kendrick Wilson describes Hankison as “a dirty cop with a vendetta.” Hankinson arrested Wilson three times between 2016 and 2018 each time at bars where Hankisonwas employed as off-duty security. In his lawsuit, Wilson alleged that he and Hankinson had interactions outside of those arrests, “including over a relationship with the same woman.”

Margo Borders is one of the woman who accused Hankinson of sexual assault in a post to her Facebook in April 2018.

In April of 2018 I went out to a bar with some friends. I went to call an uber home and a police officer who I had…

Posted by Margo Borders on Thursday, June 4, 2020

“A police officer who I had interacted with on many occasions at bars in St. Matthews offered me a ride home. He drove me home in uniform, in his marked car, invited himself into my apartment and sexually assaulted me while I was unconscious” Borders wrote in her claim. “I never reported him out of fear of retaliation. I had no proof of what happened and he had the upper hand because he was a police officer. Who do you call when the person who assaulted you is a police officer? Who were they going to believe? I knew it wouldn’t be me.” In her claim, Borders accused Hankinson by name.

In the second claim, a woman who identified herself as Emily Terry took to Instagram to report him last fall.

“I began walking home from a bar intoxicated. A police officer pulled up next to me and offered me a ride home. I thought to myself, ‘Wow. That is so nice of him.’ And willingly got in,” she explained. “He began making sexual advances towards me; rubbing my thigh, kissing my forehead, and calling me ‘baby.’ Mortified, I did not move. I continued to talk about my grad school experiences and ignored him. As soon as he pulled up to my apartment building, I got out of the car and ran to the back. My friend reported this the next day, and of course, nothing came from it.”

In response to questions about whether more formal complaints of Hankinson’s sexual harassment or sexual misconduct have been filed, his department said thatt they are still investigating the current complaints.

In a statement to PEOPLE, a spokesperson for the department said “We encourage anyone with direct information about this situation to contact us and share that information with an investigator at (502) 574-7144.”