Beyoncé calls for justice for Breonna Taylor in powerful open letter to attorney general

Joanna Taylor
Monday 15 June 2020 07:15
news
(Getty)

Beyoncé has demanded that Breonna Taylor's killers be brought to justice in an open letter to Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron.

The three Louisville police officers involved in Taylor's fatal shooting in her own home should face "criminal charges" and a transparent investigation, she wrote.

Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old black woman employed as an emergency medical technician (EMT) when she was killed by police on 13 March.

Three Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers with a no-knock search warrant entered Taylor's home as part of a drugs investigation and exchanged fire with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who thought they were intruders.

Taylor, who was unarmed, was shot eight times. No drugs her found in her apartment.

But despite no-knock search warrants being banned in Louisville as a result of the campaign for justice for Breonna Taylor, the officers involved in her killing have not been charged with a crime.

In the letter published on her website, Beyoncé wrote:

Three months have passed — and zero arrests have been made, and no officers have been fired.

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officers Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankinson must be held accountable for their actions. 

She also demanded greater transparency in the LMPD's investigation into Taylor's death, which reveals several inconsistencies in their version of events.

The LMPD's investigations have created more questions than answers. Their incident report states that Ms. Taylor suffered no injuries - yet we know she was shot at least eight times. The LMPD officers claim they announced themselves before forcing their way into Ms. Taylor's apartment - but her boyfriend who was with her, as well as several neighbours, all say this is untrue.

On 21 May the FBI began an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Taylor's death. But campaigners like Beyoncé want swifter action.

"Demonstrate the value of a black woman's life" by bringing immediate charges against the officers involved, and take action on the "pervasive practices that result in the repeated deaths of unarmed Black citizens" she told attorney general Cameron.

Beyoncé, a long time supporter of Black Lives Matter, has been praised for taking decisive action by publishing her letter.

Campaigners hope that her huge platform will bring further attention to Taylor's case, which became a focal point during the Black Lives Matter protests which sprung up in response to George Floyd's death.

A petition for the officers involved in Taylor's death to be charged and for her family to receive wrongful death damages currently has over 7 million signatures.

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