Butterflies followed by masses of blue, silver and white balloons, many reading “Happy Birthday”, speckled the sky over Louisville, Kentucky’s Metro Hall on Saturday, component in party of the lifestyles of Breonna Taylor, and component in protest in opposition to the police killing of the young Black lady in advance this year.
Taylor would have became 27 years old on Friday. She become killed via police on March 13 in a raid on her domestic. She changed into asleep after they barged in.
“[Breonna] became a totally just man or woman. She was a person who would really like you even supposing she didn’t know [you]. She embraced each single man or woman who she encountered,” Katrina Smith, Taylor’s cousin, instructed masses accrued in sweltering heat in downtown Louisville in the course of Saturday’s vigil.
“We are out here celebrating her lifestyles, her birthday, 27 years vintage,” Smith stated. “She hadn’t lived a full lifestyles, but she’s going to live through each and each certainly one of us.”
Taylor’s call, together with that of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man killed via police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, closing month, has been at the vanguard of mass protests in opposition to police brutality that have gripped tons of the United States for almost weeks.
While it has been almost 3 months due to the fact police killed Taylor, who became a Louisville emergency room technician, her circle of relatives and friends, and heaps of protesters, say justice has now not been served.
The 3 white officials involved within the shooting remain at the force: They were positioned on administrative reassignment, pending an investigation. Those officials barged into Taylor’s domestic in plain-garments to serve a “no-knock” warrant however ended up changing fire with her boyfriend, who said he believed someone had damaged into the residence. Taylor was shot 8 times.
Although Louisville officers have located limits at the use of “no-knock” warrants and proposed regulations, the movements fall brief of the outright ban Taylor’s own family has demanded.
As protesters rallied towards police brutality in Louisville ultimate week, they introduced the call of another Black man to their list of chants: David McAtee.
The 53-year-old became shot dead as police and National Guard troops reportedly tried to enforce a city-huge curfew at his fish fry restaurant. Police say McAtee fired the primary shot, however video shows that officers released pepper balls before McAtee used his weapon. A legal professional for McAtee’s family reportedly stated a video released by using police raises “greater questions than answers”. The officials concerned did now not have their body cameras activated at the time of the incident.
“I hold questioning David McAtee, I maintain questioning George Floyd, I keep thinking Eric Garner. I hold wondering Breonna Taylor,” stated Sadiqa Reynolds, president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League, after leading Saturday’s crowd in a rendition of the Happy Birthday song.
“It’s too an awful lot. It’s too lots,” Reynolds said. “This network will forever stand till the ones officers are introduced to justice.”
Saturday’s vigil added out many who’ve been protesting for greater than a week across Louisville, annoying justice for Taylor, however also numerous who had no longer been at any demonstrations before. After the butterfly and balloon release, the network shared pizza and water. A marching band played in the historical past while children drew rainbows and birthday messages with sidewalk chalk subsequent to a makeshift memorial for Taylor.
“I even have an older sister. We are certainly close, and it could have without problems been her,” stated Louisville resident Janna Tyson.
“Not simplest did y’all just kill a Black lady – a person of colour, however you took a precious soul from her family,” Tyson, 20, told the Al Jazeera information agency.
Briyana Lauderdale, 22, travelled about two hours from Bowling Green, Kentucky, to Louisville, wherein she grew up, to take part in the protests.
“I am not simplest protesting for Breonna Taylor and George Floyd,” Lauderdale instructed Al Jazeera.
“I’m additionally protesting for my circle of relatives and friends, and every person inside the Black network,” she stated. “I am protesting for justice for all of the Black community in general, and the names we don’t even know.”
For Taylor’s family, they stated it is important to maintain her name at the forefront, not giving up until justice is served.
“Keep her name on your mouth,” Smith, Taylor’s cousin, stated. “As lengthy as we hold her name in our mouths, she is going to maintain to stay.”