Breonna Taylor

Artwork by Dayja Owens

Breonna Taylor (June 5, 1993 – March 13, 2020) was an African-American woman who was shot and killed while unarmed in her Louisville, Kentucky home by three police officers who entered under the auspices of a "no-knock" search warrant. After Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) ex-detective Brett Hankison was acquitted of felony wanton endangerment of Taylor's neighbors at the state-level,[1] Attorney-General Merrick Garland announced the Department of Justice was charging Hankison with the unconstitutional use of excessive force that violated Taylor's civil rights.[2][3][4] Three other officers, who were not present at the shooting, were also federally charged with conspiracy in falsifying evidence to procure the search warrant, and then covering it up.[5]

Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Taylor worked as an on call Emergency Room Technician and first responder in the local area at the time of her death. Her controversial death followed the murder of Ahmaud Arbery (February 23, 2020) and preceded the murder of George Floyd (May 25, 2020). All three deaths spurred an outpouring of protests and became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement in summer 2020. Supporters adopted the motto #SayHerName in Taylor's memory and to bring attention to Black women who are killed by police officers.