YDSC Demands Justice For Breonna Taylor

Updated: Oct 4, 2020

On March 13, 2020 just before 1 am, Louisville police officers executed a “no-knock” search warrant as part of a narcotics investigation at the apartment of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year old EMT. Breonna and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were watching a movie when they heard aggressive banging at the door. Despite repeatedly asking who was at the door, they did not hear an announcement that it was the police before the front door flew off its hinges. Believing that intruders were trying to break in, Walker fired a warning shot that struck an officer in the leg. In response, police opened fire, blindly shooting more than 20 rounds into the apartment with a “total disregard for the value of human life”, according to a lawsuit filed by Taylor’s neighbor. There were bullet holes everywhere, including in a neighboring apartment where a young child lived. Taylor was shot at least eight times, and was pronounced dead at the scene. A subsequent search of Taylor's apartment found no drugs.

Almost three months after her death, a highly inaccurate and nearly blank incident report was released by the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD). Despite the fact that Ms. Taylor had been shot at least 8 times, the report listed her injuries as “none” and indicated that officers had not forced their way into the apartment, even though they used a battering ram to knock down the door. To this day, no charges have been brought against the officers involved in the killing.

164 days have passed since Breonna Taylor’s untimely death. The unanswered calls for justice, the scant media coverage her case initially received, and the egregious lack of transparency surrounding the investigation highlight the undeniable and blatant disregard for Black women murdered by law enforcement.

The #BlackLivesMatter Movement was created in 2013 by three black women - Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza, and Patrisse Cullors - as a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism. Throughout history, Black women have fought on the front lines against police brutality and systemic racism and oppression with little to no recognition.

Unsurprisingly, their stories remain largely overshadowed and overlooked in the nationwide conversation surrounding racial profiling, police brutality, and deadly force. Their killings often do not garner national attention, community response is more muted, demands for justice transform into comical memes and their stories are forced out of the spotlight and ultimately ignored through hashtags such as #SayTheirName and #SayHisName. This predicament can prove detrimental to the welfare of Black women, as the deliberate erasure of their voices and absence of media attention surrounding their cases inherently perpetuate the false narrative that Black women cannot be victims of racialized police violence and that their deaths do not merit repercussions. We, the Young Democrats of South Carolina, strongly condemn the marginalization, derision or erasure of Black women who are victims of police brutality, negligence and/or misconduct.

We must cease to uphold and work to actively dismantle the systems of oppression that place more value on the lives of heterosexual, cisgender men - rendering women, queer and transgender people invisibile in the fight to end anti-Black racism and state-sanctioned violence. ALL Black lives matter.

Sandra Bland. Rekia Boyd. Korryn Gaines. Mya Hall. Tanisha Anderson. Atatiana Jefferson. Tarika Wilson. Shantel Davis. Miriam Carey. Kayla Moore. Natasha McKenna. Aiyana Stanley-Jones. Shelly Frey. Michelle Cusseaux... May we never forget them and may we continue to fight so that Breonna Taylor’s name does not join the long list of black women and girls murdered by police without justice or accountability.

YDSC echoes the calls for justice around the nation for Breonna Taylor. We also demand that John Mattingly, Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, and any other law enforcement officer involved in her murder be arrested and charged immediately. We ask that her family be paid in damages due to the wrongful death of Ms.Taylor and the negligence of the LMPD. Furthermore, we call on Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to focus solely on investigating the LMPD and the troubling circumstances surrounding the handling of Ms. Taylor’s case in a fair and uncompromising manner. To ensure transparency, it is of utmost importance that upon conclusion of the investigation, the public and Breonna Taylor’s family have full access to the case findings.

We also call upon the municipal elected officials, South Carolina House Democratic Caucus, and the South Carolina Senate Democratic Caucus, to create and advocate for fair and inclusive legislation concerning legal protection for protesters, community policing, and the myriad of racial inequalities within our state.

YDSC stands in solidarity with peaceful protesters fighting to keep Breonna’s memory alive. We offer our support to protesters and supporters all over our country and also to the family of Breonna Taylor and the Louisville community. We will release information through social media regarding various events and initiatives regarding our involvement in this fight. #SayHerName

Ways you can help:

Governor Andy Beshear

700 Capitol Ave, Suite 100

Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

(502) 564-2611

Mayor Greg Fischer

527 W. Jefferson Street

Louisville, KY 40202

(502) 574-2003

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron

700 Capital Ave, Suite 118

Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

(502) 696-5300

Louisville Metro Council

601 W. Jefferson Street

Louisville, KY 40202

(502) 574-1100

LMPD Public Integrity Unit

3672 Taylor Boulevard

Louisville, KY 40215

(502) 574-2136

Signed, YDSC Executive Board and Executive Council Members

Jeni Atchley, MPA/MSCJ, YDSC President, Dorchester County

Charles Fricke, YDSC 1st Vice President, Richland County

Kevin Eckert, YDSC 2nd Vice President, Sumter County

Shadae Boakye-Yiadom, YDSC Secretary, Greenville County

Brandi Matherly, YDSC Communications Director, Charleston County

Micah Jenkins, YDSC Treasurer, Anderson County

Breanna Spaulding, YDSC National Committee Member, Richland County

Phillip Ford, YDSC National Committee Member, Orangeburg County

ErNiko Brown, YDSC Deputy Chief of Staff, Greenwood County

Gerrick Sands, YDSC Data Director, Dorchester County

McKenzie Waston, YDSC Women’s Caucus Chair, Richland County

Camden Johnson, YDSC Progressive Caucus Chair, Greenville County

Dr. Jermaine Johnson, YDSC Black Caucus Chair, Richland County

Michael McCord, YDSC LGBTQ+ Caucus Chair, Greenville County

Eric Manning, II, Lowcountry Young Democrats Chair, Charleston County

Erica Edmondson, Young Democrats of Greenville County Chair, Greenville County

Quanisea Moses, Young Democrats of Florence County Chair, Florence County

Adrian Obleton, Aiken County Young Democrats Chair, Aiken County

Candice Caldwell, Orangeburg Calhoun Young Democrats Chair, Orangeburg County

Jitwan Floyd, Young Democrats of Greenwood Chair, Greenwood County

Moses Terrell Pyatt, Sumter-Clarendon Young Democrats Chair, Sumter County

Ryan Arioli, York County Young Democrats Chair, York County

Thaddeus Smith, Young Democrats of Jasper County Chair, Jasper County

Chip Jenkins, Young Democrats of Beaufort County Chair, Beaufort County

Brandon Counts, Young Democrats of Horry County Chair, Horry County

Jennifer Bolt, Young Democrats of Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens County Chair, Pickens County

Hirak Pati, Esq., Young Democrats of Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties Chair, Spartanburg County

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