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.”

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People Have Taken To The Streets Across The Country In Breonna Taylor Protests

Things That Matter

People Have Taken To The Streets Across The Country In Breonna Taylor Protests

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Cities across the U.S. are seeing a new wave of unrest following the grand jury’s finding on the Breonna Taylor case. Emotions are high as people protest against the lack of charges against the officers who were involved in Taylor’s death.

Protesters are raising their voices after the decision not to charge all of the officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death.

Breonna Taylor was shot and killed on March 13 when police raided her apartment. The 26-year-old ER technician was sleeping when the police executed a “no-knock” warrant. However, police had the wrong address and Taylor’s boyfriend, believe their lives were in danger, fired at the police. Taylor was shot and killed in her apartment that night.

Major cities across the country saw major demonstrations spurred by the anger against the justice system.

A grand jury found one officer responsible for wanton endangerment after firing his weapon into neighboring apartments. There were no charges tied directly to Taylor’s death. The lack of charges has angered activists and advocates who are seeking significant police reform to prevent tragedies like this from happening again.

People have become hyper-aware of the issue and are paying attention to the outcomes.

Protest signs in different crowds show that the American people are paying attention. The Black Lives Matter movement became the cause at the forefront of American mentality since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. Floyd’s death sparked national outrage and renewed energy into fighting to stop the disproportionate violence Black men, women, and children face at the hands of police.

Some motorists have turned violent against the protesters.

Video captured in both Denver and Los Angeles show vehicles driving through crowds of protesters. In Denver, the driver claims to have acted in self-defense after protesters surrounded his car. The driver claims that he did not intend to hurt anyone but reacted when protesters shattered his windshield.

In Louisville, police arrested the only Black woman in the Kentucky state legislature for protesting.

State Rep. Attica Scott was arrested for first-degree rioting, which is a class-D felony. The Louisville Metropolitan Police Department arrested 24 people Thursday night while protesting the decision not to charge the officers. Rep. Scott was arrested with other and charged with first-degree rioting and two misdemeanors for unlawful assembly and failure to disperse.

“Our call to action is to continue to make sure that the city of Louisville understands that we will not go away, that we will continue to demand the defunding of police and the dismantling of this police department because it’s corrupt from the inside out, from the bottom to the top,” Scott told NPR before the grand jury decision. “And it cannot continue to function in the way that it does.”

Taylor’s death has mobilized the nation with celebrities and politicians calling for justice.

The fight for racial justice and a systemic change to our justice and policing systems is ongoing. The people are tired of being scared and are taking a stand with their protests.

If you are out there protesting, send us your videos and photos so we can see your activism in action!

READ: Oprah Winfrey Honors Breonna Taylor With Historic O Magazine Cover

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Oprah Winfrey Honors Breonna Taylor With Historic O Magazine Cover

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Oprah Winfrey Honors Breonna Taylor With Historic O Magazine Cover

Nathan Howard / Getty

In the twenty years since Oprah Winfrey established her periodical publication O Magazine, only she has ever graced the cover. For the first time in the magazine’s publication, a different face is now featured and it’s one we hope you continue to remember: Breonna Taylor.

The  26-year-old African-American emergency medical technician was murdered in the middle of the night on March 13 after being fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove. While initially, her death sparked outrage, it wasn’t until a few months later that the murder of George Floyd (a Black man also killed by the police) that a national reaction came about. The slow national reaction to her death and the demands for answers from her loved one’s ultimately initiated conversations about the care and concern offered to Black women in the United States and reminded those watching of how much work needs to be done to support them. And while the initial blast of the May BLM protests has waned, it appears Winfrey is determined to keep the fire going.

In a post about this month’s issue, Oprah reminded users we can’t be silent.

In an essay published on the O magazine site, Winfrey described the ways in which she felt she identified with Taylor. She also shared her own vision for helping honor Taylor’s life and the dreams the deceased 26-year-old had for herself.

“She was just like me. She was just like you. And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter,” Winfrey wrote. “I think about Breonna Taylor often. She was the same age as the two daughter-girls from my school in South Africa who’ve been quarantining with Stedman and me since March. In all their conversations I feel the promise of possibilities. Their whole lives shine with the light of hopefulness. That was taken away from Breonna in such a horrifying manner. Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem. What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice.

O magazine’s cover features a portrait of Taylor, created byAlexis Franklin.

The digital artist created the image from a selfie Taylor took while wearing her EMS shirt. The original selfie has circulated heavily with coverage on Taylor’s death. On the magazine cover, the words “Her life mattered” are written next to Taylor’s face.

According to an essay written by Franklin for O magazine, the young artist was inspired by Taylor’s power in the image. “Looking at [the source photo], I see an innocence, simple but powerful. It was critical for me to retain that,” she wrote. “And there was a sparkle in Breonna’s eyes — a young Black woman posing in her Louisville EMS shirt, happy to be alive.”

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