Breonna Taylor Case Nationally Appalling


Louisville protestors in a standoff with police after the grand jury’s verdict goes public. Image Credit: Xavier Burrell for the New York Times

Ethan Rascoe

March 13th, 2020, three police officers dressed out of uniform in plain clothing, execute a “no-knock” search warrant into the apartment of E.M.T. Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker. Walker fires upon the three men expecting them to be home invaders, injuring Officer Jonathan Mattingly. In response, officer Brett Hankinson returns 10 of the 25 rounds fired by the officers into the apartment, murdering the 26-year-old, Breonna Taylor. Six months later in September of 2020, the grand jury reaches a decision on her case. Brett Hankinson is charged with three counts of 1st Degree Wanton Endangerment due to his rounds entering surrounding apartments, with no acknowledgement whatsoever for the murder of Breonna Taylor.


After the devastating ruling hit public ears, cities such as Chicago, Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, and countless more, immediately surged into protest. Tears were shed in the streets, cries were heard, and marches were held. Even after Breonna’s Law was enacted in June earlier this year and the settlement to her grieving family was signed in early September, protests rage on.


According to protestors, allowing Brett Hankinson, Jonathan Mattingly, and Myles Cosgrove to continue without any severe repercussions for the murder of Breonna Taylor is no example of justice. Breonna Taylor serves as a constant reminder for the protestors who have battled for justice daily since the death of George Floyd to keep up their fight. They feel that settlement from the city of Louisville and indictment of Hankinson will never be able to make up for the emotional damages forced upon Taylor’s loved ones, and the ongoing racial injustices all throughout the country. Even local to Atlanta and the Atlanta suburbs, the fight against Taylor’s injustice flourishes onwards.


Locally in downtown Atlanta on September 23rd, a protest had formed in Woodruff Park and eventually made its way to the capitol building. Video footage posted by WABE 90.1 FM News producer Lily Oppenheimer depicts chants of “say her name, Breonna Taylor” and “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.” The footage is credited to Christopher Alston, a reporter who also works with the WABE news team.


Lily Oppenheimer’s Post of the Atlanta Protests


Later in the night however, when the crowd got larger and the protest continued, heavily armed Atlanta police arrived to send out canisters of tear gas, dispersing of the large crowds around the capitol building. Anchor for news organizations CNN, NBC, and PBS, Martin Savidge, posted the following footage of the chemical weapons being deployed to his twitter:


Footage of Tear Gas Deployment


One of the Georgian candidates for senate, Reverend Raphael Warnock, commented over Twitter on the verdict of her murder on the same day as the Atlanta protests saying, “Not charging all the cops responsible for Breonna Taylor’s death is gross negligence of justice. It devalues the life of Breonna Taylor. Black lives matter…”