WASHINGTON - Demonstrators took the streets for another night Friday in Louisville, Kentucky, to protest the killing of Breonna Taylor, a Black emergency medical worker who was killed by white police officers last March as they carried out a drug raid.
About 15 protesters were arrested Friday, police said, for breaking the 9 p.m. curfew.
Earlier Friday, Taylor’s family and their lawyer, Benjamin Crump, called on Kentucky Attorney General David Cameron to release body camera footage, police files and the transcripts of the grand jury proceedings that did not bring homicide charges against the officers who killed Taylor.
Crump said the grand jury’s decision is an example of systemic racism that persists in America. “It underscores what we’ve been saying all along,” he said.
Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, said, “The police and law were not made to protect us Black and brown women.” Palmer said the grand jury’s decision confirms the fact that she has “no faith in the legal system.”
Palmer said she “knew” Cameron “would never do his job” and added, “The system as a whole has failed Breonna.”
Cameron is Kentucky’s first Black attorney general.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who represents Kentucky, defended the investigation in a speech Thursday on the Senate floor, saying Cameron “conducted exactly the kind of thorough, impartial investigation that justice demands.” He called protests in Louisville in which two police officers were shot “more evidence of the lawlessness, riots, and violence that has plagued American cities too often this year.”
Crump posted on Twitter he is hopeful a federal investigation into Taylor’s killing would produce charges against the officers. “We hope the FBI investigation finally gets justice for Bre and her family.”
Taylor was killed when police on a drug raid entered her apartment on a “no-knock” warrant, authorized to allow police to enter a dwelling without warning to keep evidence from being destroyed. No drugs were found in Taylor’s apartment.
However, Cameron said Wednesday that a neighbor of Taylor’s heard police announce their presence before entering Taylor’s apartment and that their entry was not deemed a “no-knock” raid.
Cameron said the officers “were justified in their use of force” after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who says he heard no announcement by the police, opened fire at them first when they entered the apartment, thinking they were intruders.
Attention is being focused on Taylor’s shooting and other cases following the death earlier this year of George Floyd, a Black man, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd’s death sparked protests around the world about social injustice.