Crime & Justice

Hundreds in US demand justice 1 year after death of Breonna Taylor

By Beatriz Pascual Macías

Washington, Mar 13 (efe-epa).- Hundreds of protesters gathered Saturday across the United States, including in New York City, to demand justice for the death exactly one year ago of Breonna Taylor, who was shot in her home during a botched police raid.

The 26-year-old Black woman’s mother, Tamika Palmer, led a march in Louisville, Kentucky, with the slogan “Justice for Breonna Taylor,” which drew hundreds of people to Jefferson Square, where for months a memorial in honor of Taylor has stood with a colorful drawing of her face, as well as flowers and messages in her honor.

In the square, activists and friends of the young medical worker spoke on a stage to demand changes in the relationship between the police with the Black community, an end to racism and, above all, to demand justice for the death of the young woman.

Speakers included lawyers Lonita Baker and Benjamin Crump, who represent Taylor’s family.

Addressing Palmer, who was visibly moved, Crump said that by recognizing Taylor Saturday, they were giving Palmer and the family encouragement as the ones who knew Taylor best.

On entering Taylor’s apartment for the first time after the shooting, Baker said it looked “like a war zone.”

Taylor was shot and killed on Mar. 13 last year when three white plainclothes police officers broke into her apartment with a battering ram to carry out a “no-knock” search warrant allegedly looking for drugs, which they did not find.

Both Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, got out of bed at the noise and asked who was at the door, Walker said, and when the door broke off its hinges, Walker fired his gun, hitting one officer in the thigh.

The officers claim they identified themselves, which is disputed by Walker.

Officers fired as many as 32 times and, as a result, Taylor was struck with six bullets and died. Walker was arrested and charged with attempted murder, which was dropped earlier this month.

None of the three officers who broke into the home have been charged with Taylor’s death, although two of them were fired in December.

Meanwhile, the FBI office in Louisville said in a statement Saturday that it had made “significant progress” in the investigation, but did not give details.

The statement, signed by Special Agent in Charge Robert Brown, added that the FBI “will continue to work diligently until this investigation is completed.”

As a result of a civil lawsuit, in September, the city of Louisville agreed to a settlement of $12 million to Taylor’s family and pledged to reform its police department.

Sports stars such as LeBron James and movie stars including Samuel L. Jackson also paid tribute to Taylor on the anniversary of her death.

“Continue to Rest In Paradise Queen Breonna,” James wrote, with the hashtag #sayhername.

Jackson on Twitter asked Americans to call on senators to “support the passing of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act which reduces police racial bias and violence against people of color.”

African American George Floyd died in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis after a white police officer pinned him to the ground with his knee.

The deaths of Taylor and Floyd and other members of the Black community sparked a wave of racial justice protests and riots across the US. EFE-EPA

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