In the early hours of March 13, three plainclothes officers barged into Breonna Taylor's Kentucky home as she was asleep with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Moments later, the cops began exchanging gunfire with Walker—a registered gun owner—and shot an unarmed Taylor eight times. The 26-year-old emergency medical technician was pronounced dead at the scene.
The officers were reportedly executing a "no-knock" warrant, which permitted them to enter the residence without identifying themselves as law enforcement. The warrant was granted as part of a drug investigation; however, no drugs were found inside Taylor's home. Nearly three months after the deadly shooting, none of the involved officers—Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, Det. Brett Hankison, and Det. Myles Cosgrove—have been charged or arrested.
In honor of what would've been Taylor's 27th birthday this Friday, writer Cate Young has encouraged the public to participate in the #BirthdayforBreonna initiative—an online campaign that lists different actions that could help secure justice for the Taylor family.
The actions include donating to the Taylor family's GoFundMe campaign, using the hashtag #SayHer Name and #BirthdayforBreonna to bring more attention to the case, as well as sending elected officials scripted emails and birthday cards demanding charges be brought against the involved officers.
The campaign comes amid the nationwide protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, who died on Memorial Day after a Minneapolis police officer was filmed kneeling on the back of his neck during an attempted arrest. Unlike Floyd's case, however, no one has been held accountable for Taylor's death.
"I had just been feeling kind of frustrated with how quickly Breonna’s name had fallen out of the news cycle," Young told Distractify about her decision to launch the initiative. "I think with the protests that have been happening in George Floyd's name, it kind of got really easy and convenient to forget her … But having been paying attention to the news for the last seven or eight years, I’ve seen this kind of thing happen over and over again, where we enter these periods of increased attention to police brutality against black people, black women are among that number, and those black women’s names just stop coming up in stories."
The full list of #BirthdayforBreonna actions is available here.