Why are you hearing about Breonna Taylor?

CBC Kids News • Published 2020-09-24 10:30
UPDATE:This story originally published on Aug. 11. On Sept. 23, a Kentucky grand jury brought no charges against Louisville police for the killing of Breonna Taylor, saying they were justified in using force to protect themselves. One officer named Brett Hankison was charged, but not for Taylor's death. He's facing three charges of "wanton endangerment" for firing into Taylor's neighbours' homes.

Her death continues to be a rallying point for the Black Lives Matter movement

Twenty-six billboards featuring Breonna Taylor’s face are up this week in Louisville, Kentucky.

One billboard for each year of her life.

They were paid for by U.S. TV mogul Oprah Winfrey.

Winfrey also put Taylor’s face on the cover of her publication, O Magazine, this month.

It was the first time in the 20-year history of the magazine that Winfrey gave her spot on the cover of the magazine to somebody else.

So, who was Breonna Taylor?

A large-scale mural depicting Breonna Taylor with the text 'Black Lives Matter' painted in Annapolis, Maryland. Taylor’s death has sparked protests against racism in policing. (Image credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by police in Louisville on the night of March 13, 2020.

Police officers entered Taylor’s home late at night looking for a man selling drugs.

They did not find the man. They did not find any drugs.

Instead, police and Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, exchanged gunfire.

Taylor was caught in the crossfire and died of eight gunshot wounds.

Protests in her name

Taylor’s death sparked protests across the U.S. and Canada.

Many said the fact that the officer shot and killed Taylor without being charged points to a lack of respect for Black lives.

The death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died in May while a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck, and a string of similar incidents added fuel to those protests.

Protesters gather on Aug. 9 in Times Square in New York City. (Image credit: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

Since Taylor’s death on March 13, one of the three officers involved has been fired from his job.

No charges have been laid to date.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States has launched an investigation into her death.

Protesters from Toronto hold up signs that include the hashtag #BreonnaTaylor on May 30. (Image credit: Michael Charles Cole/CBC)

Many activists, professional athletes and media stars like Winfrey have demanded that the police officers who shot Taylor be arrested and tried in court.

Not just billboards and magazines

Across social media and at protests in support of Black Lives Matter, Taylor’s name is often echoed.

Hashtags like #BreonnaTaylor and #SayHerName continue to trend more than 150 days after her death.

On July 25, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) dedicated its season to Taylor and the Say Her Name Campaign.

Layshia Clarendon, a star player for the New York Liberty team, spoke about the WNBA league’s decision before taking 26 seconds of silence to honour Taylor.

“We are dedicating this season to Breonna Taylor, an outstanding EMT [emergency medical technician] who was murdered,” Clarendon said.

Top Image Credit: (John Sommers II/Reuters)

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