Breonna Taylor: New law passed, but protesters are still fighting for justice 5 months ago

Breonna Taylor: New law passed, but protesters are still fighting for justice

"Share her story, images of her smiling face..."

Yesterday, Breonna's Law was passed in Kentucky ensuring a ban on all "no-knock" search warrants carried out by police officers and enforcing new punishable rules around the use of body cams.

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The new law, triggered by the death of Breonna Taylor in March, has been welcomed, but protesters remain adamant that justice has yet to be served.

Who is Breonna Taylor? 

Breonna Taylor was an emergency room technician from Louisville, Kentucky.

The 26-year-old frontline worker was shot and killed by the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) on March 13 during a no-knock search warrant conducted by three officers.

Police were searching for two people believed to be involved in the illegal selling of drugs who were already in police custody. Gunfire was exchanged between Breonna's boyfriend Kenneth Walker and the officers after Kenneth thought they were being robbed.

Breonna was shot at least eight times. She died at the scene.

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The 26-year-old's family filed a suit against the LMPD stating that officers entered Breonna's apartment and began "blindly firing."

A Change.org petition has also asked for the officers involved in Breonna's death to be formally charged. It currently has over 6,500,000 signatures.

"Breonna Taylor was an award-winning EMT and model citizen," reads the petition. "She loved her family and community. She worked at two hospitals as an essential worker during the pandemic."

The petition is calling for the arrests of officers John Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove, as well as damages to be paid for "wrongful death and the negligence of the LMPD."

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What does Breonna's Law mean? 

Earlier this week, Breonna's Law was passed in Kentucky making it illegal for police officers to carry out no-knock search warrants.

The law was passed unanimously by the State's Metro Council on Thursday, outlawing no-knock warrants and ensuring that police body cams are turned on before each search.

Breonna's mother, Tamika Palmer, said that her daughter would feel "blessed" knowing that the law would save more lives.

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"I know if Breonna was here today, she'd be looking down thinking I'm making history," she said.

"She just really cared about saving lives and so she'll get to continue to do that with Breonna's law. I know she'd be blessed. I'm blessed. I'm happy. It's a start."

Are people protesting Breonna's death? 

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The recent death of George Floyd led to a resurgence in coverage of Breonna's passing, with thousands taking to the streets across the US to protest the lack of movement the case had seen.

Although the introduction of Breonna's Law - which will see officers punished if they do not turn on their body cams five minutes before and after searches - has been welcomed, members of the Black Lives Matter movement remain adamant that justice still needs to be served.

The detective who applied for the no-knock warrant that killed Breonna has been reassigned, but no one has been formally charged with her death.

"For weeks, the city treated Breonna like she was a criminal, calling her a 'suspect' before finally admitting that she was an innocent, crimeless victim," reads the aforementioned Change.org petition.

"She had no drugs. She committed no crime. Yet, she is dead, and the perpetrators are facing no charges."

What can I do to help? 

To support the continued fight against police brutality in the States and to help seek justice for Breonna, you can sign her family's petition here. 

Breonna's family have also asked social media users to continue posting about Breonna using the hashtags #BreonnaTaylor and #JusticeForBre.

"Share her story, images of her smiling face, and tag the responsible parties," they said.

"On Twitter, use @LMPD, @LouisvilleMayor, and @GovAndyBeshear. On Instagram, use @LMPD.ky, @MayorGregFischer, and @GovAndyBeshear. We can not stop until she receives a response."

You can also donate whatever you can to the #LouisvilleBailFund to get protestors released here, or to the Justice for Breonna Taylor GoFundMe.