A year after Breonna Taylor was shot in her sleep by police, protesters continue to demand justice


Published: 2021-03-14 11:46

Last Updated: 2024-04-16 09:38

Breonna Taylor. Source: BBC
Breonna Taylor. Source: BBC

Calls for justice and police reform were launched Saturday in the United States, a year after the murder of Breonna Taylor, a young black woman who was murdered in her apartment at the hands of Louisville Police.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in the city at the invitation of relatives of Taylor to commemorate the first anniversary of her murder.

"We're not done yet, we must keep moving forward," said her friend Kenneth Walker who witnessed the tragedy.

On Saturday, the US Federal Police announced "significant progress" in the Taylor murder case.

Cami Baskos said he regretted that "justice has not been achieved after a year has passed."

Baskos, a Black woman from Atlanta, "came to represent those who lost their voice after their hearts stopped."

A year after the tragedy, the local judiciary charged only one of the three policemen involved, with the charge of endangering the young woman's neighbors.

The decision, which the Taylor family's lawyers deemed "offensive and flagrant," was followed by sporadic violence in Louisville at the end of September.

The victim's family is pinning their hopes on the federal judiciary, which opened an investigation in May 2020.

In a statement Saturday, Louisville FBI official Robert Brown said about the investigation that he "remains committed to completing it until appropriate conclusions are reached."

Taylor, a 26-year-old medical assistant, was killed in her apartment on the night of March 13, 2020, when security agents broke into her apartment investigating a drug case involving her ex-boyfriend. 

They were carrying an arrest warrant that entitles them to enter the house without the owner’s permission.

In the midst of the storming operation, Breonna Taylor's boyfriend fired with a cocked weapon, so the police opened fire and shot the young woman multiple times.

Her boyfriend later explained that he thought they were being robbed, but the police confirmed that they introduced themselves before entering the house.

Democratic President Joe Biden expressed regret over the "tragic death" and stressed the importance of the broad police reform bill that was adopted in the House of Representatives but was delayed in the Senate.

"We must continue to lobby to pass this important reform to the police in Congress, and I remain committed to signing it," Biden wrote on Twitter as crowds marched through the streets of Louisville.

Taylor's death did not attract much attention at first, but it came back to the fore in the context of the growing demonstrations against racism that swept the United States after the killing of George Floyd, a Black man in his forties, was strangled under the knee of a policeman in Minneapolis on May 25 2020.

To close a civil case brought by the victim's family, the municipality of Louisville agreed to transfer $12 million to the family and introduce reforms to the police force.