Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for NARAS
Beyoncé: Justice For Breonna Taylor Would Demonstrate The Value Of A Black Woman's Life
In an open letter, Beyoncé has listed three ways that can lead to justice for Breonna Taylor, a black woman killed by police in March. Doing so, she writes, would "demonstrate the value of a Black woman's life."
On March 13, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, an EMT, was shot to death in Louisville, Ky. after cops crashed into her apartment with a no-knock warrant. The controversial search warrant allows police to enter a premise without giving warning or reasoning and so three officers raided the apartment without notice a little after midnight. According to reports, the police came to the apartment in connection with an investigation of two men they believe were selling drugs. Police believed one of the men had received packages at Taylor's apartment. Taylor died during a confrontation between her boyfriend and the police that night.
The letter to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, published on her website, states criminally charging the three officers executing the warrant would be the first step towards justice. She adds that transparency in the investigation and prosecution of the officers, as well as an investigation into the response of the Louisville Metro Police Department in relation to the death of Taylor and the practices that have led to the deaths of unarmed Black people were also important steps to take in the process.
Taylor's death, which has increasingly gained attention since George Floyd's death, brought the Louisville Metro Council to unanimously pass the ban of no-knock warrants. The law was named in honor of Taylor. But Beyoncé believes more can be done and urged the Attorney General to criminally charge the officers, who are currently on administrative reassignment pending investigation, the Louisville Courier Journal reports.
Beyond urging for justice, Beyoncé's letter touched on a greater issue: the importance of the black women's lives taken by police. "Your office has both the power and the responsibility to bring Justice to Breonna Taylor, and demonstrate the value of a Black woman's life," she writes.
Many argue the stories of Black women killed by police don't get enough attention, in the media and in politics. The #SayHerName campaign was created in late 2014 to bring more attention to Black women's deaths at the hands of police. As Brittney Cooper writes for Time, "Black women are rarely the first thought in our outrage over police shootings ... We keep missing the intersection of race and gender when it comes to Black women."
Read the full letter here.