By Summer Brown, Campus Reporter
Since Breonna Taylor was unjustly killed 191 days ago, marches and protests have been organized to speak out against the lack of justice surrounding her death. Taylor died after Louisville Police Department officers performed a “no-knock” search warrant, resulting in her being shot eight times. Throughout 2020, the black community continues to reckon with the ongoing force of police brutality that results in the death and injury of black lives.
Many people find themselves asking questions such as: “How could something like this happen?” and “Where are the consequences for the officers involved?”
Unresolved cases like Taylor’s continue to bring attention to the issue of police brutality.
Howard students across the country have united to show that they are eager to create change. Several students used different platforms to voice their stance on the loss of Taylor through the hashtag “Say Her Name.”
“The next step for truly raising awareness is for Breonna Taylor’s killers to be properly prosecuted,” David Orvis, a sophomore legal communications major said.
“It is so unfortunate that there hasn’t been a lot of progress in getting her justice,” Kirah Newman, a senior biology major said . “I just hope that she gets it for her family’s sake”.
Taylor’s legacy continues to live on in several ways. Recently, a beautiful mural was painted in her honor at the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Oakdale Street in Grand Rapids, Michigan close to where she grew up. Hundreds of people donated to the project, and several local artists volunteered in the making of her portrait. The black community in Grand Rapids is determined to stick together in a mass effort to get Taylor justice.
“To see the support of people volunteering, family and community is love. It sends the message that we do have a voice,” Esan Sommersell, the lead mural artist, said.
Tawanna Gordon, Taylor’s cousin, is now a leading activist in the movement for racial justice. She hopes that through this mural the community can gain a sense of who Taylor really was.
“She was a caring and compassionate woman who loved to care for others,” Gordon said.
She also spoke about the significance of Taylor’s nickname, illustrated in the mural. “Breewayy” is a nickname that Taylor was given once she had gotten older. Gordon said Taylor always knew what she wanted, and she never allowed anything or anyone to stop her from achieving whatever it was. The family often said, “It’s Breewayy or the highway!”
Taylor’s family knew she was dedicated to living her life fearlessly and boundlessly. Gordon hopes the world can share compassion with their family and continue to say Taylor’s name. She and others are asking that those seeking justice for Taylor continue to sign petitions, donate to local freedom funds and vote.
As of Sept. 15, Taylor’s family was given the largest settlement ever paid by the city of Louisville, Kentucky for her lawsuit that was filed back in April. This $12 million settlement is accompanied by an action plan which includes new requirements for officers, updating the procedures of search warrants and several other changes.
Despite this historic settlement, the officers involved are yet to face criminal charges. Many still believe that is the next step in obtaining her deserved justice.