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Cori Bush was at the center of a disheartening case of mistaken identity.
While attending orientation for incoming House members on Friday, the Missouri Representative-elect was seen wearing a protective face covering that featured Breonna Taylor's name. Bush chose to wear the mask as a way to bring more attention to Taylor's story; However, she said several of her GOP colleagues had mistakenly assumed "Breonna" was her name, which led her to believe they were unfamiliar with Taylor's case.
"It hurts. But I’m glad they’ll come to know her name & story because of my presence here," she tweeted. "Breonna must be central to our work in Congress."
Bush, a progressive Democrat, expanded on the experience in a video posted by The New York Times.
"... We have to stretch ourselves and pay attention to what's happening in other parts of the country. But this has been national news for a long time," said Bush, who was heavily involved in the Ferguson demonstrations. "People have protested in the streets with this name, and it just saddens me that people in leadership, people that want to be in leadership, don't know the struggles that are happening to Black people in this country. And it's just disheartening. And it was hurtful, absolutely hurtful. I didn't hear it once, I didn't hear it twice. I heard it several times. I'm being called, you know, Breonna Taylor today. But it's OK because we'll educate and we'll make sure that people know who she is, what she stood for—that she was an award-winning E.M.T. in her community, that she's someone who deserves justice right now."
Taylor was killed eight months ago by Louisville officers who were executing a no-knock warrant at her home. The 26-year-old was in bed sleeping alongside her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, when police entered her apartment as part of a narcotics investigation. Walker, a licensed gun owner, reportedly opened fire on the officers because he believed they were intruders. Taylor was fatally shot during the incident, but none of the involved officers were charged with her murder.