Beyoncé Demands Justice for Breonna Taylor In a Powerful Letter
"With every death of a Black person at the hands of police, there are two real tragedies: the death itself, and the inaction and delays that follow it."
Beyoncé penned a powerful letter demanding justice for the police killing of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor. The letter, addressed to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, was posted in full to the singer's website.
Taylor was killed in March when police came into her home unannounced and shot her eight times. Police used a no-knock warrant to enter her home while she was sleeping – they later wrote that she had no injuries on the police report. In the months since her death, over 7 million people have signed a petition asking for her killers to be arrested but as of today, they are still free. In early June, "Breonna's Law" was passed to ban no-knock warrants, but as Beyoncé notes in her letter, it is not enough.
"While 'Breonna's Law' passed in Louisville and federal legislation has been introduced that will also ban no-knock warrants, these small steps in the right direction are painful reminders that there has been no justice for Breonna Taylor or her family," she writes. "With every death of a Black person at the hands of police, there are two real tragedies: the death itself, and the inaction and delays that follow it."
She starts the next several paragraphs with "Three months have passed" before naming all of the ways in which the police department has still failed Taylor's family. At the end of the letter, Beyoncé listed three demands including charges for the officers, a transparent investigation into the death, and one into how the officers handled it. "Your office has both the power and the responsibility to bring justice to Breonna Taylor, and demonstrate the value of a Black woman's life," she concluded.
Last week, several other celebrities including Kerry Washington, Alicia Keys, and Gabrielle Union released a PSA asking "Do you know what happened to Breonna Taylor?" Their messages each included a video from Taylor's mother Tamika Palmer, who explains what happened to her daughter. "They fired 22 times, eight of those bullets landed in the body of the most essential worker I will ever know," Palmer said. "Now the whole city is mad, now the whole world is mad. Breonna should not be dead. Some days, I feel like I can't breathe without her. This should never happen to another family. I am Breonna Taylor's mother, say her name.”