The death of George Floyd has shaken the United States and world to its core. However, it was not the first police-involved homicide committed against an unarmed African American in 2020 or within the span of a month. In addition to pictures of George – who was killed on May 25, 2020 – when a Minneapolis police office stood with his knee on his neck for almost nine minutes, there is the tragic story of a young black woman who was killed on March 13, 2020, when the police entered her home while she was asleep and shot her eight times. Her name is Breonna Taylor, an EMT and Emergency Room technician who worked hard during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic.
On March 13, 2020, her life was tragically cut short when police officers entered her Louisville, Kentucky home while executing a no-knock search warrant that allowed them to crash into her apartment shortly after midnight. The police were investigating two men, who were believed to be selling drugs out of a home, miles away from Breonna’s but believed one of the men was receiving packages at her address. That was not the case. In the two months following her death, the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave but no charges have been filed against them.
On June 5, Breonna, who had dreams of pursuing a career in healthcare, was supposed to mark her 27th birthday. Instead, crowds are taking to the streets and social media including many celebs from Zoe Saldana, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and beyond to share images and bring further awareness to her passing. In honor of what would have been a day for of celebration – here are five ways you can keep Breonna’s legacy alive.
Say Her Name
Breonna Taylor! Far too often, the deaths of women in the African American community are not acknowledged or go unheard of. Breonna’s death happened two months prior to George Floyd’s but has been amplified through the voices of her family, community and the countless protesters who have taken the streets bearing signs with her name. When you think of the Black Lives Matter movement, it is important to include the names of cis black and trans women who have been murdered for the color of their skin. When taking to social media, be sure to use the hashtag #BreonnaTaylor.
Sign the Breonna Taylor Change.org petition.
Law student Loralei HoJay set up a viral Change.org petition causing for Justice for Breonna Taylor. The petition urges Gov. Andy Beshear to have all of the officers involved in Breonna’s murder arrested, payment from the LMPD to Breonna’s family for wrongful death and negligence, a statement from the governor in support of Breonna, the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the Louisville Police Department and the end to “no-knock” warrants through federal legislation.
The virtual protest is a call to action to direct supporters to send emails, tweetstorm and make phone calls to public officials, including Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and Senator Mitch McConnell. Selena Gomez, Usher, Meghan Thee Stallion and more celebrities have already lent their support to the petition.
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Her name is Breonna Taylor. Today would’ve been her 27th birthday. But on March 13th 2020, she was murdered in her own home when armed police forced their way into her apartment in the middle of the night with a no-knock warrant. They fired at least 20 bullets and she was hit 8 times. She was a hero, a frontline worker, working as an EMT for two hospitals during the pandemic. Nobody has been fired, arrested or charged and the police officers involved still walk free. SAY HER NAME AND DEMAND JUSTICE! #blacklivesmatter #breonnataylor
Donate to Breonna’s loved ones through an official GoFundMe
Breonna left behind grieving parents, a boyfriend, family and friends. The official Go Fund Me page has been set up to receive donations on behalf of the family. The page notes that the work is being done to get Justice for Breonna while still mourning her loss. “My sister and niece are too proud to say it, but this is a tough fight and it does take a toll. They’re both hard workers and they’re missing out on some work (and sleep!) in this fight for justice,” organizer Bianca Austin wrote. “We do not expect anyone to donate to this cause; your voices are being heard and that alone is so powerful! But because of all the calls and the overwhelming generosity, I have set up this account for them.”
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Happy 27th Birthday beautiful Breonna. We will honor you today and every day by fighting relentlessly for change, and we will not stop until justice is served. Even though you aren’t physically here, your presence in our hearts keeps our souls strong and our voices loud. Thank you for being our guardian angel in this movement. 💜💜💜 If you are not familiar with the story of Breonna Taylor, please educate yourself not only on her tragic passing, but also on the amazing life this selfless young woman led. Go to my story for some action items to demand Bre gets the justice she and her family deserve. 🌺🌸🌼🌻🌹🌷💐#birthdayforbreonna #justiceforbreonnataylor #justiceforbreonna #justiceforbre #happybirthdaybreonna #happybirthdaybreonnataylor #breonnataylor #blacklivesmatter #sayhername #nojusticenopeace
In celebration of Breonna’s life and the demand for justice, the #BirthdayForBreonna social activism campaign has been started in her honor. By clicking the link, there are a host of options and resources where people can donate money to bail funds, send birthday cards, letters or postcards to the Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron demanding charges be filed against the officers involved in her murder, flood social media with art and photos – along with using the hashtags #sayhername and #breonnataylor.
Pound the pavement – Demand Action
All across the globe there are protests taking place in honor of the Black lives who have been lost due to racial injustices. While taking into consideration that there is still a global pandemic, safely join peaceful rallies and protest and demand justice for the Black lives that were lost like Breonna’s. If marching isn’t your thing, provide care packages with water, sandwiches, granola bars and information cards for those who are doing the work in your community. Also consider contributing to a local bail fund network in support of the protesters who are arrested while doing the work.
Remember the names of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others who have lost their lives to racism. #BlackLivesMatter.