Oprah Winfrey has vowed not to let Breonna Taylor’s death go unnoticed. Days after dedicating the cover of O Magazine to the former EMT worker killed by Louisville police, the media mogul has erected 26 billboards across Louisville demanding justice in the young woman’s death.
“DEMAND THAT THE POLICE INVOLVED IN KILLING BREONNA TAYLOR BE ARRESTED AND CHARGED,” the billboard bearing the magazine cover image reads in all caps, accompanied by a URL that directs people to a homepage dedicated to the aspiring nurse. To the left of the large font message is a quote from Lady O, “If you turn a blind eye to racism, you become an accomplice to it.”
According to local CBS affiliate, WLKY, Oprah and the O Magazine team say they’ve erected 26 billboards to mark every year of her preempted life. They are working with justice organization, Until Freedom, to ensure Taylor’s life does not go ignored.
Last month, Tamika Mallory, co-founder of Until Freedom was arrested during a protest outside of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s home, along with Minneapolis NAACP President Leslie Redmond, reality TV stars Porsha Williams and Yandy Smith, and several others. They convened at his residence to put pressure on the Republican AG who has been slow to bring charges against the officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s killing. To date, only one officer, Brett Hankison, has been fired from the Louisville police force. Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove still remain employed. None of the officers have been criminally charged in Taylor’s death.
This week Until Freedom announced on social media that it would be “taking residency in Louisville” to better effect change. “YES. Our entire team is MOVING to live in Louisville for the foreseeable future,” the group wrote. “We are not playing games. We don’t just talk. We organize. We are ready to sacrifice time with our families, our careers to stand by what we believe in.”
Speaking on Breonna Taylor’s case and Oprah’s decision to feature someone other than herself for the second time in the history of the 20-year-old publication, Winfrey said, “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.” She continued, “What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice. And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of O magazine. I cry for justice in her name.”