Louisville, Kentucky – Butterflies adopted by a whole bunch of blue, silver and white balloons, many studying “Completely satisfied Birthday”, speckled the the sky over Louisville, Kentucky’s Metro Corridor on Saturday, half in celebration of the lifetime of Breonna Taylor, and half in protest in opposition to the police killing of the younger Black lady earlier this 12 months.
Taylor would have turned 27 years previous on Friday. She was killed by police on March 13 in a raid on her house. She was asleep once they barged in.
“[Breonna] was a really simply individual. She was an individual who would love you even when she did not know [you]. She embraced each single one who she encountered,” Katrina Smith, Taylor’s cousin, informed a whole bunch gathered in sweltering warmth in downtown Louisville throughout Saturday’s vigil.
“We’re out right here celebrating her life, her birthday, 27 years previous,” Smith stated. “She hadn’t lived a full life, however she’s going to stay via every one in all us.”
A Black Lives Issues supporter protests to commemorate what would have been the Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday in Hollywood, California [Robyn Beck/AFP]
Taylor’s identify, together with that of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man killed by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, final month, has been on the forefront of mass protests in opposition to police brutality which have gripped a lot of the USA for practically two weeks.
Whereas it has been nearly three months since police killed Taylor, who was a Louisville emergency room technician, her household and associates, and 1000’s of protesters, say justice has not been served.
Tamika Palmer, mom of Breonna Taylor, seems on throughout a vigil for her daughter in Louisville, Kentucky [Brett Carlsen/Getty Images/AFP] [
The three white officers concerned within the taking pictures stay on the pressure: They had been positioned on administrative reassignment, pending an investigation. These officers barged into Taylor’s house in plain-clothes to serve a “no-knock” warrant however ended up exchanging fireplace along with her boyfriend, who stated he believed somebody had damaged into the residence. Taylor was shot eight occasions.
Though Louisville officers have positioned limits on the usage of “no-knock” warrants and proposed rules, the strikes fall wanting the outright ban Taylor’s household has demanded.
As protesters rallied in opposition to police brutality in Louisville final week, they added the identify of one other Black man to their record of chants: David McAtee. The 53-year-old was shot useless as police and Nationwide Guard troops reportedly tried to implement a city-wide curfew at his barbecue restaurant. Police say McAtee fired the primary shot, however video means that officers launched pepper balls earlier than McAtee used his weapon. A lawyer for McAtee’s household reportedly stated a video launched by police raises “extra questions than solutions”. The officers concerned didn’t have their physique cameras activiated on the time of the incident.
“I preserve considering David McAtee, I preserve considering George Floyd, I preserve considering Eric Garner. I preserve considering Breonna Taylor,” stated Sadiqa Reynolds, president and CEO of the Louisville City League, after main Saturday’s crowd in a rendition of the Completely satisfied Birthday track.
“It is an excessive amount of. It is an excessive amount of,” Reynolds stated. “This neighborhood will ceaselessly stand till these officers are delivered to justice.”
‘A treasured soul was taken’
Saturday’s vigil introduced out many who’ve been protesting for greater than per week throughout Louisville, demanding justice for Taylor, but additionally a number of who had not been at any demonstrations earlier than. After the butterfly and balloon launch, the neighborhood shared pizza and water. A marching band performed within the background. And youngsters drew rainbows and birthday messages with sidewalk chalk subsequent to a makeshift memorial for Taylor.
“I’ve an older sister. We’re actually shut and it might have simply been her,” stated Louisville resident Janna Tyson.
“Not solely did y’all simply kill a black lady – an individual of color, however you took a treasured soul from her household,” Tyson, 20, informed Al Jazeera.
Individuals collect with balloons for a vigil in reminiscence of Breonna Taylor on in Louisville, Kentucky [Brett Carlsen/Getty Images/AFP]
Briyana Lauderdale, 22, travelled about two hours from Bowling Inexperienced, Kentucky, to Louisville, the place she grew up, to take part within the protests.
“I’m not solely protesting for Breonna Taylor and George Floyd,” Lauderdale informed Al Jazeera.
“I am additionally protesting for my household and associates, and everybody within the Black neighborhood,” she stated. “I’m protesting for justice for all of the Black neighborhood typically, and the names we do not even know.”
For Taylor’s household, they stated you will need to preserve her identify on the forefront, not giving up till justice is served.
“Preserve your identify in her mouth,” Smith, Taylor’s cousin, stated. “So long as we preserve her identify in our mouths, she goes to proceed to stay.”