LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Marking one year since her death, Breonna Taylor’s family, joined by family attorney Ben Crump and hundreds of protesters, gathered in downtown Louisville Saturday.
The gathering was held to honor Taylor’s legacy and continue their demands for justice, organizers said.
Last summer, Louisville, Kentucky’s largest city, became the site of huge protests in the wake of the police killing of Taylor, a Black woman who was shot multiple times by police during a botched drug raid in March.
A grand jury has indicted one officer on wanton endangerment charges in September for shooting into a neighbor’s apartment, but no officers have been charged in connection with her death.
A federal investigation of the shooting that has been quietly proceeding could be the last chance for her family to reach their goal of formal prosecution.
“We can’t expect people to continue to emotionally and mentally keep moving forward when there hasn’t been any justice yet for Breonna Taylor,” said Rep. Attica Scott, a state lawmaker who was tear-gassed and arrested during summer protests in the city. “We’ve been failed every single time from every level of government, and we need a freaking break.”
That could come in the form of the ongoing inquiry by the U.S. Department of Justice, which appears to have expanded well beyond the actions of the three police officers who fired their guns into Taylor’s home on March 13, 2020. Last year, a grand jury formed by state Attorney General Daniel Cameron charged one officer with putting Taylor’s neighbors in danger but issued no charges related to her death.
The warrant that sent the police to Taylor’s home was not part of Cameron’s criminal investigation, but that document and how it was obtained are under review by federal investigators. And there are signs the investigation could range into the Louisville police response to protests after the shooting.
Taylor’s death initially flew under the media radar, as the COVID-19 crisis shut down society, but George Floyd’s death in Minnesota and the release of a chilling 911 call from Taylor’s boyfriend in late May sparked interest in the case.
Months of protests, police reforms and investigations followed. The city banned controversial “no-knock” warrants, hired a new police chief and paid a $12 million settlement to Taylor’s mother. Two of the officers who fired shots were dismissed from the department, along with a detective who sought the warrant.
Through it all, protesters continued to chant, “Arrest the Cops!” But that hasn’t happened.
Demonstrations similar to that in Louisville are expected to play out across the country Saturday.