Saturday (March 13) will mark the one-year anniversary of the killing by police of 26 year-old Breonna Taylor, one of a string of killings of African Americans that fueled mass protest demonstrations across the United States in 2020.
Taylor’s was shot by police when they forced their way into her apartment during a botched narcotics raid in Louisville, Kentucky, shortly after midnight using a so-called ‘no-knock’ arrest warrant that did not require them to announce themselves.
A grand jury decision not to charge any of the officers with killing of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, sparked angry protests.
Only one of the officers, Brett Hankison, was indicted, on charges of endangering Taylor’s neighbors with several stray bullets he fired into an adjacent apartment, a charge with a maximum sentence of up to five years.
All three officers involved in the raid were ultimately terminated.
Taylor’s boyfriend, who was with her when police burst into the home, fired once at what he said he believed were intruders. Three police officers responded with 32 shots, six of which struck Taylor, killing her.
The city of Louisville paid $12 million here to Taylor’s family and agreed to police department reforms to settle a wrongful death suit.
The grand jury decision, announced by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, was denounced by civil rights advocates as the latest miscarriage of justice in a U.S. law enforcement system corrupted by racial inequity.
Cameron said there was “no conclusive” evidence that any of the 10 shots fired by former Detective Hankison, ever struck Taylor.
Taylor’s slaying initially drew little national attention. But it was thrust into prominence after George Floyd, a Black man arrested for a non-violent offense in Minneapolis, died under the knee of a white police officer on May 25, igniting a summer of protests against racial injustice and excessive police force.
Breonna Taylor’s case attracted the support of celebrities like Japanese tennis star, Naomi Osaka, and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
The Taylor case is part of an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
(Production: Ashraf Fahim)