During the months of protests against racism and police brutality in the US – alongside George Floyd’s – one name keeps popping up: Breonna Taylor. The 26-year-old African American has become a symbol of the movement against racism and police brutality.
Protesters have called for justice for their fate since the woman’s death on March 13 – and have now experienced a setback that resulted in riots on the streets of Louisville.
Background: Breonna Taylor was shot six months ago in her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. They had arrived in the middle of the night with a search warrant. According to a later investigation, they knocked on the door identifying themselves as police. When they got no answer, they broke open the door. Taylor’s friend was the first to shoot and injure one of the officers in the leg.
Then police opened fire and fired 32 shots, Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron said. They would have met the unarmed Breonna Taylor at least five times, but not her boyfriend. One of the bullets that hit the 26-year-old paramedic was deadly.
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Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced on Wednesday that none of the three police officers involved in the operation will be directly charged with Taylor’s death in March. One of the police officers is being charged, however, for allegedly endangering other residents in the apartment building. Investigators concluded that the other two police officers were defending themselves, Cameron said.
Judicial decision “scandalous and insulting”
One of Taylor’s family lawyers criticized the decision, according to a Washington Post report, saying, “This is scandalous and insulting!”
Taylor’s supporters took to the streets in response. As the paper continues, a crowd gathered in Jefferson Square Park in Louisville, where demonstrations had taken place immediately after Taylor’s death.
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Police officers on duty after two police officers are shot in Louisville Photo: John Minchillo / AP / dpa
After burning trash cans, police declared the collection illegal at 7:45 PM and threatened to use chemicals if the park was not evacuated. The protesters then marched through the city center with speaking ears like “Say her name” and “Breonna Taylor”.
Police vehicles are said to have blocked an intersection for the protesters. The Washington Post wrote that police fired two stun grenades without warning. After that, at least four shots should have been fired.
Two police officers were shot, police chief Robert Schroeder announced in the evening. You will be treated in hospital, but the injuries are not life-threatening. A suspect has been arrested.
For fear of riots, authorities had already ordered the National Guard to visit Louisville as a precautionary measure and erect barriers. There was a curfew at 9 p.m. Protests also broke out in cities such as New York, Washington and Atlanta.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear appealed to protesters after the incident: “I beg everyone, please go home. Go home tonight.” He also said in a video statement on Twitter, “We know the answer to violence is never violence, and tonight we are thinking about these two agents and their families.”
He spent the next few days trying to reassure people that there will be many opportunities to be heard. Police arrested 46 people after the riot, the Washington Post writes. US President Donald Trump responded to the riots on Twitter, saying he was praying for the two police officers.
Many questions remain open in the Taylor case
After the court decision, actor George Clooney also spoke. He criticized the decision not to hold police officers responsible for the deaths as shameful.
The judicial system in which he grew up held people accountable for their actions. “I have learned what is right and what is wrong in schools and churches in Kentucky. I am ashamed of this decision, ”Clooney said in a statement to the US media. Clooney had already complained in early June of systemic racism, inequality and police brutality against black people in the US in a haunting essay on the news platform The Daily Beast.
Questions about the Breonna Taylor case remain unanswered. The circumstances surrounding the issue of the search warrant are still under investigation. It was about a person who was not in the apartment. Taylor’s friend also stated that he heard a knock on the door, but not that it was the police. That’s why he thought the police officers were burglars. (with dpa)