OPINION: One year later, Breonna Taylor still has not seen real justice

Protestors gathered for a second night in downtown Louisville on the evening of May 29, 2020. The protests were spurred by the death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of police, and lasted into the night and early morning. Phrases such as “no justice, no peace” were shouted by crowd members. Vandals broke windows of buildings, police cars, and spray painted on walls across downtown. The police used tear gas and rubber bullets on protestors.

I feel a mix of emotions on the anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death. I am disappointed and disgusted with how the state and the country has handled Breonna Taylor’s legacy.

I watched as the protests lost their numbers, the celebrities went back to posting about every aspect of their lives and the entire world went on like another innocent Black person was just like breathing air.  

The day they offered the settlement is when I knew that those officers were never getting charged. That money was their way of putting a bandaid over the stab wound. 

Much like Malcom X said, “If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there’s no progress. If you pull it all the way out that’s not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. And they haven’t even pulled the knife out, much less heal the wound. They won’t even admit the knife is there.”

The $12 million settlement came with changes that would prevent deaths from police officers, which seems like a bunch of false solutions to a problem that has been and will continue to happen. How do you make changes in institutions rooted in slave patrols?

Or that were responsible for killing 1,127 in 2020 with Black people being 28% of that number while only being 13% of the population in America. How do I put my trust in people who pride themselves on protecting and serving the community, when I see you kill people who look like me?

I did not and will not expect Kentucky to handle this situation due to the mass amount of blatant racism that this country still refuses to confront. You determined the value of a Black body with money. You deemed that Kenneth Walker, who has since been cleared of wrongdoing, deserved more solid charges for shooting plain clothed police officers with no warrant. You showed us that the wall of a neighboring apartment had more value than the life of a living and breathing person.

The anniversary of her death should not be a thing. Breonna Taylor should still be alive. Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove and Joshua Hayes deserve to be held accountable for the murder of this woman.

I am not satisfied with Breonna’s Law, the sappy social media posts, the documentaries, the t-shirts or any of capitalist propaganda so that they could make money from her name. Showcasing her as the face of a false and white-washed movement. 

Now that I am older and that i have the experience and knowledge that I have, I know that this will happen again. We will continuously get empty laws and regulations to excuse the action of racists and murderous police officers. Until the people wake up and see that the system needs to be eradicated, prepare yourselves for another Black life to be taken again.

Rest in peace, Breonna Taylor. 

Gabrielle Bunton can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @gabriellebunton.