On June 5, Breonna Taylor would be turning 27 years old had she not been killed when Louisville, Kentucky police officers raided her home during a failed drug sting over 2 months ago.
Taylor, who was an emergency medical technician, was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and attended the University of Kentucky. Taylor’s family and friends said she lived a beautiful life. But that all changed within a blink of an eye on March 13, 2020. Taylor’s death went unreported in the media for weeks, under the shroud of the coronavirus, but as more details emerged it was clear that her death was one that the world needed to know about.
Over the last two weeks, protests have occurred across the world to bring attention to the deaths of Black people at the hands of law enforcement. From George Floyd, to Ahmaud Arbery, but unfortunately, Taylor’s killing has been seemingly drowned out. Why aren’t we saying her name louder?
Had Taylor been alive to celebrate her 27th birthday, there’s no doubt she’d be spending it with her family and friends, especially her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, who was arrested and charged with first-degree assault and attempted murder of a police officer, when he was trying to defend their home. Eventually, those charges were dropped by a judge, but that’s not enough.
On the spine of ESSENCE magazine, there’s the motto, “serving Black women deeply.” And every time I hear about an injustice that has occurred to a Black woman, I always ask myself, why is serving Black women deeply so hard for some to do?
Why haven’t the officers in the failed no-knock warrant killing been arrested yet? What took so long for the FBI’s Louisville office to launch an investigation? Did they expect the community to sit back and not do anything about another Black woman’s death? In all of these instances and the lack of justice from her death, once again proves that Taylor’s life (and death) have not been served deeply.
Serving a Black woman’s life deeply means not only saying her name in the time of death but praising her when she’s alive.
Serving a Black woman’s life deeply means uplifting her in her darkest moments, which is what should be happening to Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, who singlehandedly pressured the local authorities and government officials in Louisville to take action.
- Sign the Change.org petition demanding justice.
- Donate to her family’s GoFundMe.
- Send an email to the Kentucky General Attorney. Simply input your own information and the rest will self-populate.
- Use your social media accounts for good by posting #BirthdayForBreonna and #SayHerName.
- Finally, if you’re in the Louisville area, show up to the vigil being held June 6 at the Louisville Metro Hall of Justice at 5 p.m. with balloons, that will be released at 5:45 p.m.