no justice rolling down – or up – for Breonna Taylor

A makeshift memorial in downtown Louisville, Ky., for Breonna Taylor in September 2020. Taylor was killed March 13, 2020 in her home during a botched narcotics raid carried out by Louisville police. Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

(from NPR special series America Reckons with Racial Injustice on March 13, 2021 by Brakkton Booker and Rachel Treisman):

“Before Breonna Taylor’s name became synonymous with police violence against Black Americans, she was an emergency medical technician in Louisville, Ky.

The 26-year-old Black woman’s friends and family say she was beloved, and relished the opportunity to brighten someone else’s day.

Exactly one year ago, Louisville police gunned her down in her home. Now, her name is a ubiquitous rallying cry at protests calling for police reforms, and many social justice advocates point to her story as an example of how difficult it can be to hold police accountable for violent acts.

The Louisville incident unfolded during a botched narcotics raid, when (3) officers forced their way into her apartment in the early morning hours of March 13, 2020. Taylor was not the target of the raid and the suspect police were searching for was not at Taylor’s home.”

On September 23, 2020 Brett Hankison, one of the three police officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor, was indicted on first degree wanton endangerment charges by a Louisville grand jury. No officers were charged directly with her death, according to CNN reporters.

The trial for Brett Hankison on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment of Taylor’s neighbors was originally set for August 31st. but has now been moved to February 01, 2022.

On April 26, 2021 Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the Department of Justice would open an investigation into the practices of the Louisville, Kentucky, police department. According to reporting in USA Today on April 26, 2021 by Masood Farivar the justice department is conducting its own criminal investigation into Taylor’s death.

Detectives Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison, along with Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, fired 32 times into Taylor’s apartment with reportedly five or six shots hitting her but have never been charged for her death. Cosgrove has been determined to be the person who fired the fatal shot that killed Taylor and was dismissed from the Louisville police force – as was Hankison. Sgt. Mattingly retired from the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department on June 01, 2021 after twenty-one years of service with full pension benefits.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. says “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

I have felt from the beginning, and continue to feel, the murder of Breonna Taylor affects me indirectly in a profound way. Injustice in allowing her death to go unpunished is a threat to justice everywhere, and I cry for justice for her today.

Breonna Taylor, say her name.


Stay safe, stay sane, get vaccinated and please stay tuned.

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, politics, racism, Reflections, sexism, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to no justice rolling down – or up – for Breonna Taylor

  1. cindy knoke says:

    So much love to you Sheila. What can we really think, feel, or say, these apocryphal days? NPR said it all, briefly, ““Before Breonna Taylor’s name became synonymous with police violence against Black Americans, she was an emergency medical technician in Louisville, Ky.”
    And you are right. She was “gunned down in her home.”
    If she were alive now, she would be transporting ever trumpers in southern states to the ER. At great risk to herself. trumpers choose to not get vaccinated because it is a fake news plot.
    This guy said to me in the grocery store yesterday, “Your wearing a mask because you fell for it.”
    I said to him, “I am wearing a mask to protect children and people. If I knew you would be here, I wouldn’t have worn it.”
    Super snarky for me, I admit, but we’re talking about your grandchild, mine, and every other unvaccinated child, and person on the planet.
    Isn’t caring for every living creature, the most important thing a human can do?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Cindy, my hat’s off to you for being courageous to confront people who are a danger to themselves and us. Way not super snarky.
      We’re talking about our grandchild, your grandchildren, every other unvaccinated child, and person on the planet.
      Caring for every living creature is, in my opinion, the most important thing we can do.
      Our granddaughter begins her pre-school on Monday, and we are in great angst over the risk she faces in simply going there.
      What in the world are people thinking anyway???
      Be well, my friend.
      Sending love and hugs back


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