LOUISVILLE, Ky. – March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor was shot dead in her home by police who broke down her door to enforce a search warrant.
President Joe Biden called Taylor’s death a “tragedy” and “a blow to his family, his community and America” in a tweet posted Saturday afternoon.
“As we continue to mourn her, we must move forward to enact meaningful policing reform in Congress,” he added in the tweet.
In Louisville, hundreds gathered Saturday afternoon at Jefferson Square Park for the Justice for Breonna Taylor and March rally.
Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, and other family members led the rally.
They were joined by speakers, community organizers and family members of other Americans who have died at the hands of police, including relatives of Sean Monterrosa, 22-year-old Latin American who was shot and killed by a police officer in Vallejo, Calif., In June. Daughters of Danny ray thomas, a black man who was gunned down by a Sheriff’s Deputy in Houston in 2018, was also there.
“This is about justice,” said Sadiqa Reynolds, CEO of the Louisville Urban League. “It’s about our power to change this world for our children, for my daughter. This is how we make sure that no one else dies at the hands of the police.”
A meal distribution program in the park, sponsored by the Breonna Taylor Foundation, was also planned for the day. A pop-up mall honoring black businesses commemorated Taylor.
The weekend’s events in Taylor’s honor will conclude on Sunday with the “People’s Empowerment Brunch,” which will feature numerous speakers.
A federal lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Police Department was also announced over the weekend.
Several law firms have joined in filing a federal lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Police Department on behalf of Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, who was with her the night she was killed. Walker also filed a lawsuit against the city and the police department seeking immunity from prosecution and damages, alleging he was the victim of police misconduct.
The lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky names the department and officers involved in the raid that led to Taylor’s fatal shooting, according to a press release.
The complaint describes, among other things, “several unfortunate policies and customs of the Louisville Metro Police Department that led to the tragic events of March 13”. A copy of the complaint was not immediately available.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear issued a declaration Saturday morning when Taylor died.
“Today we remember Breonna Taylor, her tragic and unnecessary loss and the immense work that we have ahead of us,” said Beshear. “I will never understand the unimaginable grief of Tamika Palmer and the rest of her family and loved ones, but I am determined to listen and work with others to build a more equitable and just Commonwealth for every Kentuckian.”
The FBI Field Office in Louisville issued a statement saying that he “is actively investigating all aspects of his death and will continue to work diligently until this investigation is completed.”
Jefferson Square Park in Louisville, which saw a series of protests last summer following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, will likely get a marker installed this spring, according to a press release from Mayor Greg Fischer’s office.
The front of the marker will read the “Racial Justice Protests 2020” and include the following message:
“Built in 1978, Jefferson Square Park commemorates first responders killed in the line of duty. In 2020, it has become a gathering place for those demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, a black woman tragically killed by metro police of Louisville who was serving a search warrant. Protesters called this space “Injustice Square Park” and staged protests that caught the world’s attention. “
Vincent James, the city’s community building chief, said the marker “will be a permanent reminder of the challenges we face, as a city and nation, and of the work we are doing to turn our city from tragedy. to processing “.
Next week, the city said it will also “work with families to remove and store commemorative items left in the park.”