As the world continues to mourn the loss of Ahmaud Arbery, a second tragic death has begun to gain national attention in the story of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, woman.
Taylor was shot and killed on March 13 after authorities stormed her home round 1 a.m. during a narcotics investigation. Louisville Metro Police Department authorities maintain officers were there to serve a search warrant, however no narcotics were found on the premises, the Louisville Courier Journal reports. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was also in the residence and shot at officers, unnerved by their entrance.
One of Walker’s bullets hit Sgt. Jon Mattingly during fire exchange. Mattingly was rushed to the hospital and underwent surgery.
Walker, a registered gun owner was arrested and charged with attempted murder and assault. Walker’s lawyer maintains that members of the Louisville Metro Police Department charged the apartment door with a battering ram. The LMPD claims officers knocked on the door before entering.
Taylor, who was in bed, died after being struck eight times.
According to WLKY, Mattingly and Detectives Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison were placed on administrative reassignment, as an internal investigation continues.
Taylor’s family recently obtained the legal services noted civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, the same lawyer who represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown Jr. and Tamir Rice. Crump, is also representing Arbery’s father in the shooting death investigation, alongside attorney S. Lee Merritt, who is representing Arbery’s mother.
“We stand with the family of this young woman in demanding answers from the Louisville Police Department,” Crump said. “Despite the tragic circumstances surrounding her death, the Department has not provided any answers regarding the facts and circumstances of how this tragedy occurred, nor have they taken responsibility for her senseless killing.”
Taylor was known in her community as a decorated EMT worker, who began her journey in 2017 when she obtained her certification. Taylor became a certified EMT in 2017, and periodically worked at surrounding hospitals as an ER technician. Her family described her as an open and warm-loving individual.
Taylor’s loved ones maintain that neither she nor Walker were involved in drug dealing activities.
Activists like Tamika Mallory have shared Taylor’s story hoping to raise awareness surrounding the reality that Black women are also subject to police brutality in America. Taylor’s story is especially upsetting in the wake of Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old Dallas-Forth Worth woman who also was killed by police in her home.
“She really did not deserve to end her life so horrifically,” her aunt, Bianca Austin, told the Courier Journal.