Beyoncé took her work advocating for Breonna Taylor, an unarmed 26-year-old Black woman who was killed by police while she was sleeping in her apartment when they entered with a no-knock search warrant in March, one step further yesterday. The singer posted an open letter to the Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron on her site. Taylor was killed over three months ago, and none of the three officers who shot her have been fired, charged or arrested. You can read more details about what happens and where the case stands here.
Beyonce previously used her platform to call attention to Breonna Taylor on June 5, on what would have been Taylor’s 27th birthday. “Justice for Breonna. Click the link in my bio to take action,” she wrote.
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The officers still haven’t been arrested—to the dismay of many in the country—so Beyoncé shared the open letter.
She wrote in her letter:
Dear Attorney General Cameron,
It has now been over three months since members of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) killed Breonna Taylor. Plainclothes officers with a “no-knock” warrant forced their way into her apartment, where she was asleep and unarmed. Moments later, the officers fired over twenty shots into Breonna Taylor’s home, striking her at least eight times. While “Breonna’s Law” passed in Louisville and federal legislation has been introduced that will also ban no-knock warrants, these small steps in the right direction are painful reminders that there has still been no justice for Breonna Taylor or her family.
Three months have passed—and the LMPD’s investigations have created more questions than answers. Their incident report states that Ms. Taylor suffered no injuries—yet we know she was shot at least eight times. The LMPD officers claim they announced themselves before forcing their way into Ms. Taylor’s apartment—but her boyfriend who was with her, as well as several neighbors, all say that this is untrue.
Three months have passed—and zero arrests have been made, and no officers have been fired. The LMPD’s investigation was turned over to your office, and yet all of the officers involved in the shooting remain employed by the LMPD. Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officers Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison must be held accountable for their actions.
Three months have passed—and Breonna Taylor’s family still waits for justice. Ms. Taylor’s family has not been able to take time to process and grieve. Instead, they have been working tirelessly to rally the support of friends, their community, and the country to obtain justice for Breonna.
Your office has both the power and responsibility to bring justice to Breonna Taylor, and demonstrate the value of a Black woman’s life. I urge you to use your power and:
1. Bring criminal charges against Jonathan Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hankison
2. Commit to transparency in the investigation and prosecution of these officers’ criminal conduct
3. Investigate the LMPD’s response to Breonna Taylor’s murder, as well the pervasive practices that result in the repeated deaths of unarmed Black citizens.
Don’t let this case fall into the pattern of no action after a terrible tragedy. With every death of a Black person at the hands of the police, there are two real tragedies: the death itself and the inaction and delays that follow it. This is your chance to end that pattern. Take swift and decisive action in charging the officers. The next months cannot look like the last three.
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