The United States commemorates this Saturday with a wake the death at the hands of the police of Breonna Taylor, a young African American who, according to the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Greater New YorkHawk Newsome has not only become an icon of the movement, but also “a martyr.”
“Her face, her story and her memory will be on the lips of activists for decades. She changed the landscape in many ways. It was the first time I saw the United States come together to fight for something that happened to a black woman.” says the activist in reference to the protests that took place throughout the country in 2020 to demand justice in the face of the death of this 26-year-old girl and a health worker from the emergency service.RELATED
Just a year ago, in Louisville (Kentucky) three agents broke down Taylor’s door with a search warrant in hand to search for drugs – which they never found. It is not known exactly how the police entered the home, as none of the officers put a video camera on their uniform.
There are two versions of what happened, that of the police and that of the victim’s family. Lt. Ted Eidem told a press conference last year that officers knocked on the door several times at the time of the raid and announced that they were police officers and had a search warrant. In addition, the official pointed out that once the agents entered they were greeted with shots by Kenneth Walker – Taylor’s boyfriend, who has a weapons permit – and they responded by unloading their pistols at Walker and Taylor. At the crime scene there were more than 30 caps, six on Taylor’s body and one on the leg of police officer Jonathan Mattingly.
Instead, Taylor’s family pointed out that the agents neither announced nor called and that once they broke down the door they began to shoot, which is why, when the police entered, Walker called the emergency number to report a robbery. .
More than six months after Taylor’s death, Louisville announced that it would institute a series of police reforms and pay $ 12 million to the victim’s family to settle a wrongful death lawsuit.
As part of the settlement following the Taylor family’s lawsuit, the city agreed to establish a home loan program with the goal of incentivizing officers to live in the areas they serve. It also agreed to use social workers to support certain operations. The agreement also seeks to require commanders to approve search warrants before requesting judicial approval, among other changes.
In addition, the “Breonna Law”, a ban on walk-ins, has been put into operation. The policing technique continues in practice in other states.
Despite these measures, some activists believe that it is not enough.
“There has been no justice for BreonnaTaylor,” says Newsome, who believes that the only way justice could be done is if the perpetrators were convicted of murder and spent a “long time” in jail. He also accuses the Chief of Police, Steve Conrad.
For her part, the CEO of Woman UnbreakableKim Roberts-Henderson also believes that justice has not been served in Taylor’s case, but says he understands people who think otherwise, as those people compare his case with others who received less compensation. Relatives of Eric Garner, an African-American from New York who died in 2014 after a police officer restrained him with a prohibited chokehold while trying to arrest him, received less than half. “The Black Lives Matter movement has had a lot to do with the outcome of the Breonna case. There was a lot of social pressure,” says the activist.
Both Roberts-Henderson and Newsome note that racism is most evident against black women. “The fact that we had to fight so hard to raise awareness about the Breonna case is evidence that it is more difficult to get justice for black women,” says the activist. During the protests against police brutality and racism that swept through the streets of hundreds of cities in the United States, the name of George Floyd resonated much more – who died after a police officer pressed his knee against his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. than Taylor’s. “The black woman is the most unprotected person on this planet. This is what Malcolm X said in his time and it continues to be so now,” adds Newsome.
To exemplify his idea, Roberts-Henderson points out that the vast majority of the components of the 2020 peaceful protests did not know that the hashtag of Black Lives Matter It was created by three African Americans. It was Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi who started using #BlackLivesMatter on social media in 2013 to protest the acquittal of civilian George Zimmerman, who shot and killed African-American Trayvon Martin.
To mark the year of the Taylor shooting, activists have organized vigils across the country on Saturday. Newsome explains that New Yorkers – many of them with candles – will pay tribute to the African American from various points of the city. “This is not just to remember, there is also the activist aspect of Breonna Taylor. I mean, the second amendment aspect. [el derecho a poseer y portar armas] among black citizens or walk-in de-registration in the rest of the United States. “