Washington, D.C., March 13, 2021 - On the one year anniversary of the killing of Breonna Taylor, Brady reiterates the call for attention to the continued need for systemic reform to policing in America and the disproportionate toll that militarized policing and gun violence takes on Black and Brown communities.
Brady Director of Racial Justice Kelly Sampson shared:
“A year after Breonna Taylor’s death, police violence has continued to traumatize Black and Brown communities, and investigations into the circumstances around her death were marred by disturbing allegations of misconduct. While a Department of Justice inquiry continues and the city of Louisville settled a civil suit with Taylor’s family in September, it remains clear that Black Americans, and particularly Black women, remain disproportionately and systematically at risk of gun violence and police violence. We cannot accept a country where anyone can be murdered in her home with impunity. We still need justice in Breonna’s name. It is essential that we continue to say her name, just as activists in Louisville and across the country continue to do, to remind us that our work in creating a country where Black and Brown people live without fear of violence is far from finished.”
Team ENOUGH Executive Councilmember Aalayah Eastmond shared:
“As someone who marched for racial justice throughout the spring, summer, and fall of 2020, and was hospitalized from being shot by police with a rubber bullet, I have experienced police brutality first hand. As a Black woman, I have experienced the reality of racism and oppression first hand. And, as a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who was forced to shelter under my classmate’s body while a gunman attacked our class, I have experienced gun violence first hand. Sadly, I am not unique. Too many Americans and in particular too many Black women have experienced each of these. Black Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white Americans and while we are 13 percent of the U.S. population, we are 31 percent of all police-involved fatalities. Black women, like Breonna Taylor, should not have to live in fear for their lives from the police or from anyone else. We cannot rest until we create a reality where that is true.”
About the Case:
On March 13, Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by police in her home in Louisville, Kentucky. Three police officers entered her apartment using a battering ram around 1:00 a.m. to serve a ‘no-knock’ search warrant in a narcotics case. The warrant included Breonna Taylor’s apartment, as police believed that the subject of a drug investigation had used her apartment to receive mail.
Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep and awoke when the officers entered. Believing that their apartment was being broken into, Walker used his licensed firearm to fire at the intruders. The officers returned fire, shooting 32 rounds into the apartment and killing Taylor. Detective Hankison fired 10 of these rounds, none of which struck Taylor but which did travel into neighboring apartments. Walker was charged with first-degree assault and attempted murder of a police officer. Those charges have since been dropped.
On May 29, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer suspended all “no-knock” search warrants. On June 3, Mayor Fischer announced that the city would likewise hire an outside firm to review the city’s police department. On June 23, one officer was terminated for his actions in connection to the incident. On September 15, the city of Louisville settled a civil lawsuit with Taylor’s family for $12 million dollars. The settlement also included needed reforms to Louisville Police Department procedure and regulations such as a warning system to identify officers with red flags, new processes for simultaneous search warrants, and negotiation over the publication of officer personnel files. These changes are a much-needed start to the broad and structural changes needed to reform policing and criminal justice in the United States.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.