Breonna Taylor’s Family, Advocates React to ‘Outrageous and Offensive’ Grand Jury Decision

By Shani Saxon Sep 24, 2020

Breonna Taylor’s family had no words for the press after Wednesday’s (September 23) announcement that none of the officers involved in the 26-year old’s death would be charged with her killing.

Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, however, expressed his rage over the grand jury decision. "This is outrageous and offensive to Breonna Taylor’s memory. It’s yet another example of no accountability for the genocide of persons of color by white police officers," said Crump, one of the attorneys representing Taylor’s family. "The rallying cries that have been echoing throughout the nation have been once again ignored by a justice system that claims to serve the people."

On March 13, Taylor was shot and killed as she slept in her home when plainclothes Louisville, Kentucky, police officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove, entered the premises with a no-knock warrant and began firing shots. Once news of her death began to spread, protests erupted in Louisville and across the country as Taylor become a national symbol of the vulnerability of Black women and police impunity in the deaths of Black people. 

Following a four-month investigation into Taylor’s death, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) announced at a press conference yesterday that a Kentucky grand jury determined that “two officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor were justified in firing their weapons into her apartment, while another was charged with recklessly firing rounds that endangered people in a neighboring unit,” The Washington Post reports.

Reports The Post:

The grand jury decision prompted outrage and calls for people to take to the streets nationwide in Taylor’s name. Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Louisville, sparking some clashes with police as armored vehicles tried to clear the streets.

Hours after the announcement, Louisville police reported that two officers had been shot downtown around 8:30 p.m. as protests were underway. They were in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries Wednesday night, interim police chief Robert Schroeder said during a news conference.

Taylor’s sister, Juniyah Palmer, tweeted that the justice system failed her.




Taylor’s cousin, Tawanna Gordon, spoke to the (Louisville) Courier-Journal about her devastation over the decision. "I’m not surprised," Gordon said minutes after Cameron’s press conference ended. “But I’m mad as hell because nothing’s changing. … Today’s decision was an additional injustice on our family and this country. Until Americans start getting mad enough and speaking out and forcing legislators to change the laws for all races, nothing is going to change.”

"And it needs to happen now,” Gordon added. “Not tomorrow, but today."

Cameron, who previously worked as a top aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), warned “celebrities, influencers and activists” to refrain from second-guessing the grand jury’s decision. They “will try to tell us how to feel, suggesting they understand the facts of this case and that they know our community and the commonwealth better than we do,” Cameron said at the press conference. “But they don’t.”

Democratic vice presidential nominee, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), told reporters following the decision that there “is no question that Breonna Taylor and her family deserve justice yesterday, today and tomorrow.”