Today, Breonna Taylor should be celebrating a birthday. She would have turned 27-years-old. While she was tragically killed on March 13 as she slept next to her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, her life was much more than another act of police violence. Breonna, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was an ambitious young woman. As a graduate of the University of Kentucky, Breonna worked as an EMT for two hospitals and was most recently stationed at the University of Louisville Health. She was an essential worker. She was a daughter, a friend, and so much more.
We could go on and on about her senseless death, and how the police that shot her for no reason, should be held accountable. Her family deserves justice. But on this day, her birthday, we want to remember her — the beautiful woman that gave so much to so many. “She was cool, a cool cat,” her aunt Tahasha Holloway told NPR.
Today would have been #BreonnaTaylor’s 27th birthday.
She loved to cook & play cards with her aunts.
She was an EMT, killed by Louisville police who broke into her home looking for someone else.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) June 5, 2020
She was laid to rest on March 21, and although the world is protesting for justice for George Floyd, Breonna is remembered too. People won’t allow her name and memory to go forgotten.
“Every time I see her, or someone says her name, I cry. I break down,” Shatanis Vaughn, Breonna high school friend, said to NPR. “They really supporting you [Taylor] now. Everybody knows your story. You’re going to be heard, finally.”
Another friend, Erinicka Hunte, remembers her saying, “She always said that she would be a legend. I just never imagined it would be like this.”
What we should remember about Breonna aside from her charismatic smile and selflessness is that she’s not the only one that has been a casualty of police violence. For the most part, it is unarmed black men that make the headlines — if they make the news at all. But women are victims of police brutality as well. They are often overlooked for a variety of reasons — but the main reason is that they are black women. It’s been 84 since she was killed, and yet still no officers have been charged.
Breonna Taylor would have turned 27 today. pic.twitter.com/ZwVaKzBq6t
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 5, 2020
“And though the Black Lives Matter movement was started by three Black women, we’ve largely been left out of the national narrative on police violence,” Kanya Bennett, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office, wrote in 2018. Police violence impacts Black women and other women of color just as it does Black men. We must also consider other forms of police violence that impact Black women and women of color, like sexual assault. Sexual abuse is the second most reported form of police misconduct after use of excessive force.”