On Monday, Oprah Winfrey brought attention to the fact that it had been 150 days since Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by the Louisville police. She used the moment to release a video demanding justice.
The clip, which was posted to Twitter on Monday evening, shows billboards around Louisville of Taylor’s name and face. Winfrey started the video by detailing her last conversation with Taylor’s mom.
“The last time I spoke to Breonna Taylor’s mom, Tamika Palmer, she was having a particularly bad day dealing with the loss of her daughter,” Winfrey narrates. “She told me: ‘I can’t stop seeing her face. Her smile. It’s what I miss most about her. I’m still waiting for her to come through the door.'”
“Everybody who’s lost a loved one knows that feeling,” Oprah continues. “For every mother and father whose child is out in the world right now, imagine getting a call in the middle of the night that your daughter has been shot in her apartment, and then you find out the people who killed her were police officers who should never have been there in the first place.”
Taylor was killed on March 13 when officers entered her home on a no-knock warrant, which have a deadly history of going wrong. The cops report that they started shooting after they were met by gunfire from Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. However, Taylor’s family said in a lawsuit that the cops did not identify themselves and that Walker — a licensed gun owner — believed someone was trying to break in when he started shooting. Taylor was killed by multiple rounds of police gunfire while she was sleeping. She was 26 years old.
Since her death, none of the officers involved have been charged with a crime. Brett Hankison was terminated from his job by interim Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder. The other two officers, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, are on administrative reassignment.
“What would you want to happen now?” Oprah continued in her video, questioning her audience if they were in Tamika Palmer’s place. “Would you be content to hear five months later there is an investigation and that no one has been held accountable for shooting your innocent daughter multiple times and letting her life bleed out?”
Winfrey ended her video by saying:
“If not for the coronavirus, I’d be out in the streets, marching with the Black Lives Matter protesters. These 26 billboards, one for every year of Breonna’s life, are my offering, my form of protest.”
The billboards read, “Demand that the police involved in killing Breonna Taylor be arrested and charged” and they provide a link to the activist group Until Freedom, which has been organizing around getting justice for Taylor.
Oprah has been one of many celebrities who have been speaking out on Taylor’s story. She even featured Taylor on the September cover of “O, The Oprah Magazine”. Taylor’s cover marks the first time in the magazine’s history in which Winfrey is not on the cover. The issue is supposed to hit newsstands on Tuesday, according to Courier Journal.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is expected to decide whether to criminally charge the cops involved in Taylor’s shooting. He told The Courier Journal last week that his office is waiting for information on ballistics tests the FBI has been carrying out. He didn’t give an estimate of when his team will finish its investigation and release results.