Beyoncé Pens Letter To Kentucky Attorney General Demanding Justice For Breonna Taylor
“With every death of a Black person at the hands of the police, there are two real tragedies: the death itself, and the inaction and delays that follow it.”
Beyoncé is demanding the police officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s killing face charges in an open letter to Kentucky’s attorney general.
“Your office has both the power and the responsibility to bring justice to Breonna Taylor, and demonstrate the value of a Black woman’s life,” she wrote in the letter.
The superstar and activist penned a letter to Attorney General Daniel Cameron and published it Sunday on her website. Beyoncé demanded that Cameron bring criminal charges against the three officers involved in the death of Taylor, a 26-year-old licensed EMT who was shot and killed after police forced their way inside her Louisville, Kentucky home.
“Three months have passed -- and zero arrests have been made, and no officers have been fired,” Beyoncé wrote in the letter. “The [Louisville Metro Police Department’s] investigations have created more questions than answers. Their incident report states that Ms. Taylor suffered no injuries—yet we know she was shot at least eight times.”
Taylor’s death has become a focus of the recent wave of protests against police brutality nationwide. The LMPD claimed in March that the plainclothes officers, none of whom were wearing body cameras, announced themselves before entering on a “no-knock” warrant. The officers entered on suspicion that a man was receiving packages of drugs at Taylor’s homes. After Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot at the officers entering the home, police fired several rounds of shots, killing Taylor.
Kenneth is a licensed gun owner and thought someone was breaking into Taylor’s home while they were sleeping, according to a wrongful death lawsuit. The suit also alleges the officers “entered Breonna’s home without knocking and without announcing themselves as police officers.” It continues: the officers proceeded to “spray gunfire into the residence with a total disregard for the value of human life,” and shot Taylor at least eight times. The suit also says neither Taylor nor Walker have any criminal history of drugs or violence.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer last week signed into effect “Breonna’s Law,” which bans no-knock warrants in the city. Democratic lawmakers' sweeping police reform bill introduced last week is also designed to stop the use of such warrants in drug cases, CNBC reported.
But many people, including Beyoncé, say those measures are not enough.
“Ms. Taylor’s family has not been able to take time to process and grieve,” Beyoncé continued in her letter. “Instead, they have been working tirelessly to rally the support of friends, their community, and the country to obtain justice for Breonna.”
Beyoncé asked that Cameron bring criminal charges against the officers involved in the shooting: Jonathan Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hankison. She also demanded that the department commit to transparency in its investigation and prosecution. Last, she requested that Cameron investigate the LMPD’s response to Taylor’s killing, as well as the “pervasive practices that result in the repeated deaths of unarmed Black citizens.”
“Don’t let this case fall into the pattern of no action after a terrible tragedy,” she continued. “With every death of a Black person at the hands of the police, there are two real tragedies: the death itself, and the inaction and delays that follow it. This is your chance to end that pattern.”