Caroline Goldstein
June 15, 2020 8:03 am
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Beyoncé is demanding justice for Breonna Taylor. The singer wrote a letter to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, which she posted in full on her website, urging the AG to bring criminal charges against the three police officers responsible for Taylor’s death—who, despite intense public pressure, have still not been arrested.

On March 13th, members of the Louisville Police Department forcibly entered Taylor’s home with a “no-knock warrant” while she and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep. The officers proceeded to fire 22 rounds, eight of which struck and killed the 26-year-old. On Thursday, June 11th, the Louisville metro council voted to ban no-knock warrants, which enable law enforcement to enter property without prior announcement. They titled the ordinance Breonna’s Law—which only highlights the horrifying fact that Officers Brett Hankinson and Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly have been neither fired nor charged with any crimes. (They’ve been placed on administrative reassignment during the case’s investigations.)

“These small steps in the right direction are painful reminders that there has still been no justice for Breonna Taylor or her family,” Beyonce writes in her letter.

“Ms. Taylor’s family has not been able to take the time process and grieve,” she continued. “Instead, they have been working tirelessly to rally the support of friends, their community, and the country to obtain justice for Breonna.”

The singer also points out that investigations “have created more questions than answers,” noting especially that the incident report for the night of Taylor’s murder is riddled with inconsistencies. The report states that Taylor “suffered no injuries—yet we know that she was shot at least eight times.” The report also states that the officers announced themselves before entering Taylor’s home, but both Walker and their neighbors “say that this is untrue,” Beyoncé writes.

It is the Attorney General’s “power and responsibility” to provide that justice, and to “demonstrate the value of a Black woman’s life.” Beyoncé then lists three demands in particular: To charge the officers responsible for Taylor’s death; to “commit to transparency” in the investigations and prosecution of these three officers; and to “investigate the LMPD’s response to Breonna Taylor’s murder, as well as the pervasive practices that result in the repeated deaths of unarmed Black citizens.”

Beyoncé ends her letter by urging the Attorney General not to let Taylor’s murder fall between the cracks, as far too many wrongful deaths of Black people before her have. “With every death of a Black person at the hands of the police, there are two real tragedies: the death itself, and the inaction and delays that follow it,” Beyoncé says. “This is your chance to end that pattern. Take swift and decisive action in charging the officers. The next months cannot look like the last three.”

You can sign Beyoncé’s petition to demand justice for Breonna Taylor here.