The disappointment over the Breonna Taylor decision, in which none of the police officers were charged in connection with her death, has been felt all over the country. A variety of entertainers have spoken out and two-time Emmy winner Ava DuVernay shared a powerful rebuke over the many ways the justice system failed the 26-year-old EMT.
DuVernay told The Hollywood Reporter, “Our sis. We live in a world of crooks with titles and criminals with badges that will not give you justice today. But justice will come. And it will come from us.”She continued, “Pushing and pulling, plotting and protesting, piercing the blue walls designed to terrorize us. Justice will come. Not today. But it will. Until then, we give you what we can. We give you glory. That word means that we will take pride in you. We will honor you. We will never forget you. We can give you this today. And tomorrow. And onward.”DuVernay has been advocating for Breonna Taylor for months. Back on June 7, she tweeted, “Arrest the cops who killed #BreonnaTaylor. Their names, as reported by multiple news outlets, are Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove. We actually protect cops who kill Black people when we allow them to be anonymous.”
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On September 23, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced there would be no charges in the killing of Breonna Taylor. A grand jury returned three counts of “wanton endangerment” in the first degree against former officer Brett Hankinson in connection with the fatal shooting of Taylor. A $15,000 cash bond was also attached to the charges. The other two officers, Sgt. John Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove, were not charged and remain on the force. Hankinson was fired in July.
After midnight on March 13, Hankison, Cosgrove and Mattingly executed a botched “no-knock” warrant at Taylor’s apartment (although the Kentucky Attorney General claimed the warrant was not a no-knock warrant and the police did announce their presence prior to barging into the apartment) which she shared with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker. Believing they were intruders, Walker fired his weapon and gunfire from the officers ensued. The 26-year old EMT was struck six times and died.
The police raid found no drugs at Taylor’s apartment and she was not the target of the investigation. Rather, it was her ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover who police were after. Glover had been arrested earlier that same night.
BET has been covering every angle of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and other social justice cases and the subsequent aftermath and protests. For our continuing coverage, click here.
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