The fight for black women’s justice: The breonna taylor verdict

Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, dies in her Kentucky home on March 13th after being shot by Louisville Metro Police Department, and the officers involved faced no charges for her death.

Officers Brent Hankinson, Myles Cosgrove, and Jonathan Mattingly, unexpectedly barged into Taylor’s home unannounced as the police after a no-knock warrant was issued. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, suspects a home invasion and fires at policemen. The three officers then fired approximately 25 rounds into Taylor’s home. Her home had not been the location in which officers were hoping to find their suspect, Jamarcus Glover, a supposed drug trafficker.  Taylor was injured by the officer’s bullets and denied immediate medical attention where officers used that time to detain Walker and continue their search.

Protests emerged following Taylor’s death demanding justice for Taylor in many cities across the U.S. Louisville Kentucky Council unanimously passed the Breonna Taylor Act, which enforces for officers to turn on body cams before searches and to ultimately ban no-knock warrants. As protests continue, Officer Brett Hankinson is fired and will be brought to court after an investigation is conducted over what happened on March 13th. A Kentucky grand jury indicts Hankinson on counts of endangerment and not for the death of Taylor.

Breonna Taylor, a Black woman, has become a victim of police violence and is fueling a movement across many cities in America and in the hearts of many Americans who are outraged at the injustices that lie in front of them. Earlier this year, Ahmaud Arbery, another unarmed Black man, was fatally shot when on a run in Glynn County, Georgia. The death of these individuals left many Americans uneasy and called for organizations such as Black Lives Matter protestors to stand in the front lines and demand that there be a change in the American justice system when dealing with racial injustices as well as the defunding of police.

Protestors gathered in large groups in Louisville, Kentucky calling for the officers involved in Taylor’s murder to be fired and prosecuted so that they too deal with the legal consequences. Brett Hankinson, the 44-year-old Louisville Police officer, one of three officers involved in Taylor’s murder, was the only one to be indicted by the court and facing charges. A grand jury decided that he should be fired in what Hankinson’s legal attorney declared a “cowardly act.” 

A grand jury has announced that Brett Hankinson, former LMPD officer, will be indicted on three counts of endangerment in the first degree. This verdict signifies that the maximum sentence Hankinson faces for jail time is five years. Anger has erupted in Kentucky as well as across as the nation, folks calling this yet another act of injustice against Black bodies in America. There is no word on what is to be done to the other officers involved in Taylor’s murder. The state of Kentucky has agreed to compensate the Taylor family with a 12 Million settlement in a civil lawsuit. Protests continue across cities as the public seeks justice for Taylor’s life and not for the damage done to her property. 

“I am not satisfied with what has been going on with the Breonna Taylor case. More than 150 days later, transcripts and records are finally going to be released to the public? That’s 150 days too late,” said Joshlyn Ramirez, senior. “The judicial system works together to kill or incarcerate people of color, it’s just an extension to slavery. Breonna Taylor and her family deserve justice, we can prevent the next Breonna Taylor.”

 The general public is outraged at the outcome and is demanding that the Taylor family receive justice from the Kentucky court on account of her murder.

“America has been sending out the same signal to me since I was born. No justice for anybody that looks like me,” said BLM protestor.

By Stephanie Velasquez, News Editor

(Photo Source: Family of Breonna Taylor, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)