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Breonna Taylor One Year Anniversary

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

UPDATED: 5:00 p.m. March 13, 2024

Breonna Taylor is more than a hashtag. Four years after Louisville Metro Police killed Breonna, her death is still tough to process. 

Breonna deserved better from authorities in Louisville and the state of Kentucky as a whole. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron made a mockery of accountability.

MORE: Breonna Taylor Civil Rights Case: A Timeline Of Events In The Trial

State leaders are apparently finally trying to change that now, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal:

Republican Sen. Rand Paul and Democratic Rep. Morgan McGarvey announced Monday they plan to file bills in the Senate and House of Representatives that would ban no-knock warrants like the one used by LMPD in the raid at Taylor’s apartment in the early morning hours of March 13, 2020.

While enacting such legislation would be a major game-changer for the system that allowed Taylor to be killed without any police officers being held accountable for the death.

In just the last year alone, one of the officers involved with Taylor’s killing has gone on to get hired as a cop in Kentucky before he went on to display even more gun violence on his new job.

While Louisville did hire its first Black woman police chief, the selection process was held in secrecy — a move that violated the city’s vow for transparency.

One of the few silver linings to this tragic episode has been Cameron’s failed gubernatorial bid last year as Kentucky voters rebuked his candidacy. A closer look at the election’s exit polling data suggests that voters in Jefferson County likely haven’t forgotten Cameron’s role following the infamous botched no-knock warrant raid that led to Taylor being killed.

And another officer involved in Taylor’s killing is currently facing his third trial from the deadly botched no-knock warrant.

The Washington Post reported:

Former officer Brett Hankison had been acquitted of state charges of reckless behavior related to Taylor’s death. With a petition signed by 18,000 people, Tamika Palmer that day in 2022 asked senior Justice officials whether there was anything more they could do.

The Justice Department ultimately charged Hankison, who fired his gun in the police raid that killed Taylor but did not strike anyone, with federal civil rights violations. A federal jury deadlocked on those charges, resulting in a mistrial.

Now, nearly four years after Taylor’s killing, federal officials are taking the extraordinary step of placing Hankison before a jury for a third time. The move points to polarizing questions regarding what amounts to justice in the killing of a Black woman during a raid at her home that helped spark nationwide social justice protests. Among those questions: whether the federal government’s push for accountability will be achieved by trying to convict this former officer.

Meanwhile, Taylor’s life was being celebrated on social media by leaders who remain fighting for systemic change.

“4 years ago, Breonna Taylor was unjustly killed in her home by Louisville police,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump posted Wednesday on X, formerly Twitter. “Sending my prayers to her family and community as they continue to fight for accountability and legislation to prevent another tragic killing. We’ll NEVER forget your story, Bre!! Rest In Power.”

Nina Turner reminded her followers about Breonna Taylor that “For 1,460 days, her killers have walked free. We will not forget.”

Georgia Congresswoman Lucy McBath, whose teenage son Jordan Davis was killed by a white man over a dispute about loud music in a so-called “Strand Your Ground” case, encouraged people to remember Breonna Taylor’s legacy and “Honor her life with action.”

Someday we will stop expecting Black families and communities to make do with commemorations and allow Black women, men and children to grow old gracefully.

Allowing things to continue business as usual and permitting the system to create more Breonnas undermines her legacy and all that people claim she represents for them. To quote the Movement for Black Lives, “the whole damn system is responsible for Breonna’s death. The time is now to transform it.”


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