'She had big ambitions': Louisville activists remember Breonna Taylor 1 year later

One year since 26-year-old emergency room technician Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville, Ky., police, activists describe how local protests have changed public perceptions. "The Breonna Taylor shooting in March of 2020 … transformed the community into a different energy," said Christopher 2X, who runs the Louisville nonprofit Game Changers. "Just because you did not have major riots here with major damage to property and businesses does not mean that you still couldn't feel the tension as it relates to her death and the cry for equity and equality."

Video transcript

- Without hope, we can't dream, and without dreams, we can't progress. And without that moment of progression, we can't evolve as a society.

- Breonna Taylor.

- Breonna Taylor.

- Breonna Taylor.

- Breonna Taylor.

- The 26-year-old emergency room technician was shot six times in her apartment back in March by plainclothes police serving a drug warrant.

- I'm Christopher 2x. The Executive Director of the Christopher 2x Game Changers organization. I remember the call on March the 14th of 2020 when Tamika Palmer, and her family wanted me to come into their lives as it related to the day after that police involved shooting that took her daughter's life. When I reflect back on March the 14th 2020 and a few days after that, I remember setting up the first media interaction for this family.

I totally remember being invited into that still fresh crime scene, if you will, in regards to the apartment, where the shooting took place, and just the barrage of bullets that I witnessed firsthand. And it was very devastating, and equally, at the same time, the unfortunate pool of blood that this young lady laid in based on all those shots coming through that apartment. They have the ones who still cry for justice, still have a legitimate argument to call for that. She was real.

She was from the hood, big ambitions. She had drives. She definitely loved. From everything I've gathered thus far, loved being in the health care community to care for others as it relates to that work in the health care arena. So at the end of the day, I can see why the cries for justice elevated to the levels that it did.

- We are free to walk where we want to go, so let them be overhead. Let them suit up. Let them do what they gonna do, but tonight, we stand.

CHRISTIE WELCH: My name is Christie Welch. I am a recent graduate of the University of Louisville in 2019 when Breonna Taylor was murdered. It just kind of felt like you were in the Twilight Zone, because it's, like, what? They ran up in someone's house. They killed this black woman in her home. It really, really hit home for me, and it was just the biggest wake up call I've ever had in my life.

Because that could have been me, or any of my aunts, or my nieces, or my friends, or my mom, my grandmother. It could have been any of us, you know? So I think that was the biggest thing that it was in her home, in her privacy, and in her sacred space that her life was taken. Things in the city were very, very volatile as it should be. I mean, it was just protests every day.

- I said, I love being black.

- I said, we love being black.

- I said, we love being black.

CHRISTIE WELCH: I had friends, who lost eyes, who I saw on social media from the rubber bullets, who had all the bruises from the rubber bullets, who had eyes were blood stained red from the tear gas. All of those things, and it really felt like an act of war was being called upon the city and its residents who were fighting for justice. And as the year went by, it's like we had so much momentum, and so much fervor, and so much vigor for the cause.

And then it's like things just started to settle down and just fizzle out to a point to where you wouldn't even expect it being a year later. It's like hardly any protests anymore. Hardly anyone's even saying her name, even though that was the movement. I think Breonna Taylor's legacy started to bring the question of the protection of black women to a head, and to the forefront of mainstream media, and the conversations among individuals.

As Malcolm X said, the black woman is the least protected and respected woman. The human on this planet, and then it's like to have that woman dead in her home and not even her killers be even slightly reprimanded for it. It just brought that whole movement and the whole understanding that, yeah, black women have not just been upset, and angry, and talking for no reason. These women are really hurting and crying out for someone to hear them, for someone to protect them, for someone to love them.

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