8 Ways to Take Action Towards Achieving Justice for Breonna Taylor
We waited 191 days for justice.
Our Instagram feeds were flooded with art. Her image was displayed on shirts, billboards and magazine covers. Her name was dropped on songs, hashtagged and talked about. We signed petitions, made calls and took to the streets saying her name: Breonna Taylor.
Yet it wasn’t enough for Kentucky’s Grand Jury to bring Breonna Taylor justice on Wednesday.
But it’s not over. Yes, we’re tired. Yes, we’re angry because it’s a never-ending cycle of not seeing any sign of changes. But we are still fighting for Breonna Taylor and the countless other Black lives that were failed by the system. Here are just a few ways you can honor Breonna Taylor and help move the needle to bring about justice. We are so sorry it’s taking so long, Breonna.
Whether it’s $1 or $100, any donation can make a difference. If you have the means, donate to these organizations and communities that are fighting for Breonna Taylor.
- Louisville Community Bail Fund. A fund to bail out any protestors and provide post-release support.
- Justice for Breonna Taylor. This GoFundMe started by Bianca Austin (Breonna Taylor’s aunt) is to develop a foundation to build youth programs, help people who are interested in pursuing a career as an EMT and provide mentorship opportunities for women in honor of Taylor. Plus, some of the funds will be divided to other organizations and charities as well as help any legal fees for the Taylor family.
- The Loveland Foundation. The system failed Breonna Taylor, but that doesn’t mean we have to continue to fail more Black girls and women. This foundation strives to create a community for Black girls and women with programs, opportunities and resources.
2. Sign Petitions
- Every state to pass Breonna’s Law to ban no-knock warrants.
- Arrest, fire and revoke pensions of the cops involved in the killing.
- A full investigation into the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Protests have been happening all across the country since March. People have been coming together to say all the names that have been killed at the hands of the police, like Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Elijah McClain and countless other Black men, women and children.
Many of these protest locations can be found on social media. If you’re planning to protest, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Pack light and bring a small bag to hold identification, phone and/or snacks. (Tip: Use a fanny pack to keep your hands free.)
- Bring a water bottle. Water can keep you hydrated and clean any wounds or eyes from tear gas.
- Wear a face mask and comfortable clothing. A mask doesn’t only protect yourself and others during the coronavirus, but it can also shield your identity. Plus you’ll be walking a lot so wearing comfortable clothing and sneakers is a must.
- Know your rights. The ACLU created a handy guide to exercise your right to protest.
- Don’t go alone. Ask your friends and family to join you. Stick together in support and create a plan if you get separated.
4. Make Calls & Send Emails
Make your voice heard and place a call to Kentucky officials like the Public Integrity Unit of the Louisville Metro Police Department, the Kentucky Attorney General and other representatives. Push for them to take more action on this case and support legislation that prevents this from happening again. Here’s the contact information you’ll need:
- Special Prosecutor State Attorney General Daniel Cameron: 502-696-5300 or email@example.com
- Kentucky Mayor Greg Fisher: 502-574-2003 or Greg.Fischer@louisvilleky.gov
- Commonwealth's Atty Thomas Wine: firstname.lastname@example.org
- LMPD Chief Steve Conrad: 502-574-7660
- Kentucky Governor Andy Breshear: 502-564-2611
- Police Public Integrity Unit: 502-574-2136
- Louisville Metro Council: 502-574-3902
Not sure what to say? Here are instructions and a full email script to get you started. If you’re not from Kentucky, consider reaching out to your own local and state representatives to stand behind Breonna’s Law. Any support on getting justice and fighting for Black lives is a win.
5. Raise Awareness
Share, share, share. Raising awareness among others is powerful. Sometimes people get overwhelmed by all the information and just need to be pointed in the right direction. You can start by:
- Following the case and sharing credible information on social media.
- Using hashtags like #StandWithBre, #JusticeforBre, #BreonnaTaylor, #SayHerName
- Tweeting to @LMPD, @LouisvilleMayor and @GovAndyBeshear or DMing @LMPD.ky, @MayorGregFischer and @GovAndyBeshea
- Sharing all the links above to get your friends and family involved.
6. Discuss, Listen & Learn
It can be uncomfortable to talk about these serious topics with friends and family especially if they hold different views than you. However, we can’t tippy-toe around the issue that the Black community continues to be mistreated by a system that’s supposed to protect all of us.
This is not a political issue. We can’t turn a blind eye and cover our ears because it’s not ‘happy news.’ Sit down with friends and family and talk about what’s going on. Talk about the news, listen and find out what they’ve been doing to take action. Ask questions like Do you know what happened to Breonna Taylor? Are you following the case surround Breonna Taylor? How do you feel about this?
Now, there are going to be individuals that claim what the police did was right. As soon as you utter ‘Black Lives Matter,’ they are quick to say ‘All Lives Matter,’ so according to their own argument, shouldn’t Breonna Taylor’s life matter? Did you know she was an EMT, an essential worker that was working during the pandemic? She was serving all lives, so why wasn’t her life taken into consideration?
Find time to talk and listen to each other on the matter. Don’t be afraid to provide resources and educate yourself more on Breonna Taylor, police brutality and old laws that hinder the lives of all Americans. Luckily, we did a roundup of books, podcasts, businesses and talking points as a start.
7. Register to Vote
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but we’re not going to make a change overnight. We’re also not going to dismantle a system overnight either. But what you can do is vote. Vote for local and state representatives who vouch for issues we care about. Vote for officials that will advocate for change to be made from the bottom on up. You probably heard before but voting does matter. Your vote counts and if you sit it out, you can’t expect laws to be put in place to help us.
The election is in 40 days. Are you ready to vote?
8. Celebrate Her Life
There’s a lot of sadness and anger in the world. While we say her name, we should celebrate her. Breonna Taylor was a sister, daughter, girlfriend and friend. She was an essential worker that wanted to help people. Her life was cut short, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to honor her.
“I just think she was destined to be great,” Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother, told The Cut. “Breonna just loved life, and people gravitated towards her. She lit up a room and had this aura about herself.”
So share her photos. Spread happy images of Breonna. Read her family and friends’ stories about her. Create art (and even send it to Taylor’s family at P.O. BOX 161538 Louisville, KY 40258). We’re not going to let anyone forget about Breonna Taylor.
And as always, take a break from the turmoil in the world. It’s OK to take a step back and work on your mental health. There’s a lot to take in and 2020 just won't seem to let up. So don’t feel ashamed for taking time for yourself. We need you around.