Oprah Winfrey sets up 26 billboards of Breonna Taylor around Louisville

Marissa DeSantis
·2-min read
One of three police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor will be fired: Courtesy of Family of Breonna Taylor
One of three police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor will be fired: Courtesy of Family of Breonna Taylor

Last week, Oprah Winfrey announced that for the first time in her O Magazine’s 20-year history, she would not appear on the cover.

Instead, Winfrey chose to use the September cover as a way to honor the life of Breonna Taylor, who was killed earlier this year by police in her Louisville, Kentucky home.

To continue her efforts in seeking justice for Taylor’s death, Winfrey is setting up billboards around Louisville with Taylor’s cover image.

(Instagram/@oprah)
(Instagram/@oprah)

“Demand that the police involved in killing Breonna Taylor be arrested and charged,” the billboards each read. Winfrey has teamed up with the social justice organization, Until Freedom, erecting 26 billboards - one for each year of Taylor’s life.

The organization is calling for justice for Taylor’s death, which took place on March 13, when three police officers executing a “no-knock” search warrant forced open her door as she was sleeping. Believing it to be a home invasion, Taylor’s partner (a licensed gun owner) reportedly shot one of the officers in the thigh.

Oprah Winfrey in 2019 (Getty Images)
Oprah Winfrey in 2019 (Getty Images)

The police blindly returned fire with more than 25 bullets, killing Taylor. Police had carried out the “no-knock” search warrant as they claimed Taylor’s ex-boyfriend was using her address to mail drugs through the post office, however, no drugs were found in Taylor’s apartment.

In the months since, no charges have been made against the officers responsible for Taylor’s death and two of the three officers still have their jobs.

“What I know for sure: We can’t be silent,” Winfrey wrote when she announced that Taylor would be on the cover of the issue, which also focuses on systemic racism. “We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice,” she continued. “I cry for justice in her name."