Breonna Taylor’s mother is urging people to remember her late daughter’s legacy and call for justice on what would’ve been her 27th birthday.
On Friday, Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, appeared on Good Morning America, where she paid tribute to her daughter and celebrated her as someone who “was just full of life” and would “light up a room.”
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Taylor, an African American aspiring nurse working as an EMT, was fatally shot eight times by police officers while in her own home in Louisville, Kentucky on March 13.
A civil lawsuit, which was filed by her family on April 27, alleges police entered the residence unannounced and were actually looking for a man who lived in Taylor’s building but not her apartment.
“In that brief moment, where people forgot about her for two months at a time, people need to know that Breonna Taylor mattered and that Breonna Taylor was great,” Palmer said during the emotional morning show interview.
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To demand action in the case against Taylor’s death, people are encouraged to participate in the “Say Her Name” movement, which calls attention to police brutality against black women.
Kimberle Crenshaw, the founder of the social movement and executive director of the African American Policy Forum, also called into GMA on Friday to explain the importance of saying Taylor’s name aloud as well as other black women who faced police brutality.
“The erasure of black women is a consequence of that fact that we don’t know their names and therefore we don’t know their stories,” she said.
“Say Her Name attempts to make the death of black women an active part of this conversation by saying her names,” Crenshaw explained. “If black lives really do matter, all black lives have to matter. That means black lives across gender have to be lifted up.”
Protests in Louisville honoring Breonna Taylor
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A formal investigation into Taylor’s death was launched by the FBI Louisville office on May 21, according to CNN.
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As of June 5, the officers involved in Taylor’s death have not been charged with any crimes.
In early May, Palmer spoke to the Washington Post about her daughter’s killing, expressing her disappointment in such little movement in Taylor’s case.
“Not one person has talked to me. Not one person has explained anything to me,” Palmer said. “I want justice for her. I want them to say her name. There’s no reason Breonna should be dead at all.”
Palmer added: “She was an essential worker. She had to go to work. She didn’t have a problem with that. … To not be able to sleep in her own bed without someone busting down her door and taking her life. … I was just like, ‘Make sure you wash your hands!’”
Now, as people march in protests across the country sparked by outrage after George Floyd was killed while in police custody, Taylor’s name is included among the many who have died as a result of racial injustice and police brutality in chants throughout the nation.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.