As we march in the streets holding signs that offer our grief in the face of George Floyd’s senseless and viscous death at the hands of Minneapolis police, another Black life that was lost has almost been eliminated from our collective struggle.
Singer Solange Knowles brought light to the death of Breonna Taylor on Twitter Sunday, during what seems like a turning point in the call for Black lives to be advocated for, protected and most importantly valued. The philanthropist and musician is one of many who are calling for justice for Taylor who was killed by Louisville police during a botched narcotics raid after officers stormed her apartment on March 13.
As demonstrators across the country took to the streets to emphasize their powerlessness, Knowles brought out the heat to press the Mayor of Lousiville, Greg Fischer and Governor Andy Beshear, inquiring why there has been no movement in arresting the officers in Taylor’s case.
“Ayo @louisvillemayor @govandybeshear when the f–k are y’all going to arrest and charge Breonna Taylor’s murderers?!? Why are Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankinson & Myles Cosgrove still roaming freely & still being payed while y’all try to protect the blood on y’alls hands?” she wrote.
The three named officers, Mattingly, Hankinson and Cosgrove, are named as participants in the raid which took Taylor’s life around 1 a.m. in the morning on the night of March 13. LMPD officials contend the officers fired after knocking on the door, but lawyers for Taylor’s family say the officers instituted a “no-knock” warrant. In the chaos, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker fired into the night, not knowing who or what was breaking into the apartment.
Walker, a registered gun owner, was initially charged with attempted murder for striking Mattingly in the leg, but the charges were dropped against him last week. Taylor’s family has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
The mayor and the governor play an active role in the timeline, as mayors of cities are over the local law enforcement and governors have state power to investigate through the attorney general. The George Floyd case has taken steps in this manner, by turning over the case to the state attorney general from the local district attorney’s office.
While the officers have been taken off of active duty, they are still receiving a paycheck and are living their lives while Taylor’s family is forced to face their loss everyday. Several demonstrations have taken place in Louisville in honor of Taylor, following the uprising in Minneapolis, Minnesota, over the death of George Floyd.
But Black women continue to be erased from the conversation when our lives are just as susceptible to be snuffed out by a vigilante or a cop emboldened with excessive force. May the bell continue to toll for Taylor and her family until they can receive the justice her life deserves.