Breonna Taylor’s mom asks DOJ to charge officers for her death

Louisville, Kentucky - The mother of Breonna Taylor, the Louisville woman who was shot and killed during a police raid at her apartment in March 2020, met with Justice Department officials to ask them to charge the officers involved in her daughter’s death.

Tamika Palmer (r.), Breonna's mom, held a banner in front of a march on the One-Year Anniversary of the death of her daughter on March 13, 2021. This year, she's asking the DOJ to charge the officers involved.
Tamika Palmer (r.), Breonna's mom, held a banner in front of a march on the One-Year Anniversary of the death of her daughter on March 13, 2021. This year, she's asking the DOJ to charge the officers involved.  © Collage: IMAGO/ZUMA Press & MediaPunch

"I’m here at the Department of Justice asking them to do the right thing," Tamika Palmer said after the meeting with the Civil Rights Division a day after the two-year anniversary of her daughter’s death. "This is bigger than Breonna. If no one addresses this issue, they’ll keep kicking in our doors and murdering us."

"For the nation, it’s been two years and one day," Palmer said. "For me, I’m trapped in March 13, 2020. I don’t know how people think I should just move on."

Taylor was killed after three officers serving a no-knock warrant for her boyfriend burst into the apartment. Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, fired a warning shot at the intruders, who returned fire, hitting Taylor several times.

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One of the officers, Brett Hankison, was acquitted of wanton endangerment earlier this month. He fired 10 shots into the apartment. Myles Cosgrove, who also fired into the apartment and did not activate his body camera, and Jonathan Mattingly were not charged. The former two were fired and Mattingly retired in April 2021.

Three members of a Kentucky grand jury have come forth in recent months to claim they were not allowed to consider murder charges against any of the three former officers.

Benjamin Crump, the civil rights attorney representing Taylor’s family, said the meeting left them hopeful.

"They said, 'Be not dismayed,'" Crump said, recounting the meeting. "They’re turning over every stone, looking at any civil rights charges on behalf of Breonna Taylor, because they would do the same for any citizen. Because Breonna Taylor deserves it."

A spokesperson for the Justice Department later reiterated that the case was still under investigation.

The Justice Department has previously charged both the officers involved in George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, which occurred almost three months after Taylor’s death, and the men who killed Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed several weeks before Taylor.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO/ZUMA Press & MediaPunch

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