1 Officer Charged, 2 Cleared in Shooting Death of Breonna Taylor, Grand Jury Decides
Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by police in Louisville, Ky., on March 13
Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is urging voters to "never stop speaking" Breonna Taylor's name, following a grand jury decision that none of the police officers would be charged with Taylor's death.
Harris, a senator from California who became the first Black woman to be named to a major party's presidential ticket, was among a growing list of Democratic politicians and celebrities who spoke out after news broke earlier in the evening.
Taylor, a 26-year-old certified EMT and aspiring nurse, was killed by Louisville police officers who burst into her apartment on March 13 while she slept and shot her five times.
Police say the officers were executing a "no-knock warrant" when they used a battering ram to break into Taylor's home after midnight. Harris called for reforms on such policing tactics on Wednesday night.
Instagram; Michael A. McCoy/Getty Left to right: Breonna Taylor and Sen. Kamala Harris
"Tonight, I'm thinking of Breonna Taylor's family who is still grieving the loss of a daughter and sister," Harris, 55, tweeted in a statement. "We must never stop speaking Breonna's name as we work to reform our justice system, including overhauling no-knock warrants."
Breonna Taylor/instagram Breonna Taylor
Darron Cummings/AP/Shutterstock A memorial for Breonna Taylor at Jefferson Square in Louisville, Kentucky.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced earlier in the day that none of the officers involved in the shooting—Det. Miles Cosgrove, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and former detective Brett Hankison—would be charged with Taylor's death.
Hankison, who was fired earlier in the summer, is to be charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for allegedly firing bullets that risked injury to persons in adjacent apartments, Cameron said.
Keep speaking Breonna Taylor’s name.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 24, 2020
Darron Cummings/AP/Shutterstock Protesters in Louisville react to the grand jury decision
Prominent Democratic leaders, including presidential nominee Joe Biden, also spoke out after the news.
“Breonna Taylor. Breonna Taylor. Breonna Taylor,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, interrupting the end of her appearance on MSNBC on Wednesday, adding, “Say her name.”
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Cameron's decision was "wrong."
"This is wrong," Schumer tweeted, responding to the news. "Breonna Taylor’s life mattered. She deserves justice. Her family deserves justice. Unjust laws produce unjust outcomes. This must end."
Schumer called on the Senate to pass the Justice in Policing Act, which was introduced by Rep. Karen Bass in early June following the police killing of George Floyd on May 25.
Bass, who serves as the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, also spoke out against the decision that no officers would be charged with Taylor's killing. "These charges are an affront to the movement for justice and peace in this country and conveys loud and clear that Breonna Taylor’s life does not matter to the legal system of the United States," Bass wrote.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
• Campaign Zero works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
• ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
• National Cares Mentoring Movement provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.