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On Breonna Taylor's 27th birthday, the police officers involved in her death are still free

On Breonna Taylor's 27th birthday, the police officers involved in her death are still free

If not for those three cops—Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove—Taylor would've celebrated her 27th birthday today.

George Floyd's inhumane death in police custody set in motion nationwide protests against police brutality towards members of the black community and the rampant racism in the country. Riots broke out across America when the police got involved with demonstrators and the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter took over social media once again. The charges against Derek Chauvin—the officer who pinned Floyd to the ground by his neck for nearly 9 minutes—was revised from third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter to second-degree murder, and bail for the other three officers involved was set at $1 million each.

Meanwhile, Breonna Taylor, the EMT who was shot dead by three officers who entered her apartment by force in March, still awaits justice.



 

If not for those three cops—Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove—Taylor would've celebrated her 27th birthday today. Despite entering her home through the use of a "no-knock" warrant after midnight and shooting her eight times, they have merely been put on administrative leave while an investigation continues. "I'm getting scared that we're forgetting Breonna Taylor — those cops haven't even been arrested. Please remember black women. Please let’s keep fighting for her," author Ayana Mathis urged on Twitter.



 

The three plainclothes officers barged into Taylor's apartment at around 12:30 on March 13 to execute a search warrant allegedly under the assumption that the location was used as a place for a drug suspect—who, by the way, had already been arrested earlier that day—to pick up packages. According to Rolling Stone, while the police claim they announced their arrival, Taylor's boyfriend Kenneth Walker, who was in the apartment, said the police never identified themselves. The couple believed their home was being invaded and so when the men burst through the door, Walker—a registered gun owner—fired once, striking one officer in the thigh. The police responded by allegedly firing about 20 shots, eight of which struck Taylor.



 

 

The case of Taylor's death has dragged on for the past three months with officials only arresting one person so far: Walker. He was booked on attempted murder and the charges against him were only dismissed in late May. The FBI announced a federal probe into the shooting and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer also announced around the same time that "no-knock warrants"—long criticized as unconstitutional—would be suspended and that plainclothes officers would be required to wear body cameras. 



 

As charges for those involved in Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery's death are handed down, the lack of accountability for the officers involved in Taylor's death becomes clearer. Protests in her hometown of Louisville grow louder with every passing day as the three officers responsible for her death continue to walk free. A Change.org petition calling for their arrests has climbed past 3.7 million signatures as of Friday morning with signees including Solange Knowles, Usher, Janelle Monáe, and Megan Thee Stallion.



 

To mark what would've been Taylor's 27th birthday on June 5, freelance writer Cate Young started the online campaign, #BirthdayForBreonna, urging supporters to send birthday cards to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron demanding charges be filed against the three officers. Speaking to Distractify about the campaign, Young said, "I had just been feeling kind of frustrated with how quickly Breonna's name had fallen out of the news cycle. I think with the protests that have been happening in George Floyd's name, it kind of got really easy and convenient to forget her... But having been paying attention to the news for the last seven or eight years, I've seen this kind of thing happen over and over again, where we enter these periods of increased attention to police brutality against black people, black women are among that number, and those black women's names just stop coming up in stories."



 

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