Kentucky capitol rally urges action in Breonna Taylor death
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Hundreds of people rallied at Kentucky’s capitol on Thursday to urge action in the investigation of three officers in the fatal police shooting of a Black woman, Breonna Taylor, at her Louisville home.
Taylor’s family, hip hop artists and civil rights lawyers addressed a large crowd on the steps of the capitol to mark 100 days since Taylor was killed.
The 26-year-old woman was shot eight times by officers who burst into her Louisville home March 13, using a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation. The warrant to search her home was in connection with a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside.
On Thursday afternoon, Taylor’s mother thanked the crowd for their support for her daughter.
“Without you all, I swear I don’t know where I would be right now, probably crying at home still by myself,” Palmer said. “Know that she was full of love, full of life. Know that if it was one of you all, she would be out there (protesting).”
Louisville police have fired one of the three detectives who served the warrant at Taylor’s home. But protesters at demonstrations around the country have called for the three to be criminally charged.
Taylor was killed “in the sanctity of her own home,” said civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, who is representing Taylor’s family. “If you can’t be safe in your own home, where can you be safe?”
The rally was organized in the state capitol to call attention to Daniel Cameron, Kentucky’s first Black attorney general, whose office is reviewing the police investigation of the three officers. Many of the speakers urged Cameron to charge the officers, Myles Cosgrove, Brett Hankison and Jonathan Mattingly.
Hankison was fired on Tuesday.
Last week, Beyoncé wrote an open letter to Cameron, urging him to move swiftly. Cameron has urged patience while a large-scale probe is being carried out. The FBI is also investigating the shooting.
Other speakers Thursday included the rapper/actor Common and Jada Pinkett Smith, who told Palmer she wanted to “keep shining a light on Breonna’s name.”
“We wanted to come here, show our love, and amplify your voice and amplify the voice of your daughter,” Pinkett Smith said.
Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, also appeared at the rally. Walker was originally charged with attempted murder after he fired a shot at one of the officers who came into the home. Walker has said he thought he was defending from an intruder.
The no-knock search warrant that allows police to enter without first announcing their presence was recently banned by Louisville’s Metro Council.
By DYLAN LOVAN