Political Leaders and Celebrities React to Grand Jury Decision in Breonna Taylor Case

High-profile figures expressed outrage and disappointment in the jury's decision to not pursue homicide charges against officers involved in Taylor's death.

BLM protest

Image via Getty/Drew Angerer

BLM protest

The controversial verdict in the Breonna Taylor case has sparked a wide range of reactions from high-profile figures.

On Wednesday, it was announced that the State of Kentucky would not pursue homicide charges against the three officers involved in Taylor's fatal shooting. A grand jury decided to only indict one defendant—former Louisville officer Brett Hankison—on three felony counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. The charges are based on the report that Hankison had fired 10 shots into Taylor's apartment, some of which had entered an adjoining unit. The other two involved officers, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove, were not indicted, as the jury determined their actions were justified on the night of Taylor's death.

Entertainers, athletes, and public officials expressed outrage and disappointment over the decision. NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick condemned the "white supremacist institution of policing that stole Breonna Taylor's life." Kentucky native George Clooney released a statement to Deadline, saying he was "ashamed" of the decision. Alicia Keys called the verdict "unjust" and "disrespectful," while Viola Davis called it "bulls---!"

President Donald Trump refused to criticize the verdict, and instead praised Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron for the way he has handled the Taylor case. The president was asked what kind of message he would send to members of the Black community who were upset with Wednesday's decision. His response was predictably tone deaf.

Trump on his message to Blacks upset with handling of Breonna Taylor case: "I love the Black community, and I've done more for the Black community with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln." pic.twitter.com/N1AToQaDPL

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 23, 2020

"My message is that I love the Black community, and I've done more for the Black community than any other president, and I say with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln," he said. "I mean that ... Nobody's done more. Abraham Lincoln, lets give him the nod, but beyond that, nobody's done more."

You can read other reactions to the grand jury's decision below.

The white supremacist institution of policing that stole Breonna Taylor’s life from us must be abolished for the safety and well being of our people. #BreonnaTaylor #SayHerName #AbolishThePolice

— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 23, 2020

This is is a PRIME example of Rotten to the CORE!!! UnJust!!!! Disrespectful and BLATANT DISREGARD!!!! Infuriated!!!!!!! https://t.co/TWVeV8Q3rp

— Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) September 23, 2020

Bulls--- decision!!! BLACK LIVES MATTER!!! Cannot be said enough times. https://t.co/HOrDQzHJ0d

— Viola Davis (@violadavis) September 23, 2020

"To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a state of rage almost all of the time." James Baldwin. #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/CUcRcEsXCE

— COMMON (@common) September 23, 2020

It’s all kind of numbing. On one hand it’s like I KNOW I’m not crazy there’s a real problem in our country. On the other I’m sad that everyone doesn’t see it and some don’t want to. Of course I know God is at work. It’s just tough to process it all. #BreonnaTaylor https://t.co/b1ALKdkRS3

— Lecrae (@lecrae) September 23, 2020

They Can’t Wait 4 Us 2 React & Make Us Out 2 Be The Problem. This World Has Always Wanted People Of Color To Sit Down An Take It!!! Cause That’s The Way It Was In The Slavery Days!!! Louisville KY Justice System & Justice Systems Around This Country Is A Joke!! #breonnataylor ❤️

— Plies (@plies) September 23, 2020

I’m not sure what to say in this moment other than I am hurt...and that this feeling is all too familiar, because we feel it, we see it and we live it again and again...


— Nina Turner (@ninaturner) September 23, 2020

I don’t have many words right now.... but all I can say is I’m praying for the city of Louisville right now!!! 😔😔

— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) September 23, 2020

Daniel Cameron is on Donald Trump’s short list as replacement of #RGB on the Supreme Court. The same man who decided to not charge the officers responsible for killing #BreonnaTaylor. Vote.

— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) September 23, 2020

They never get it right and that doesn't make it hurt any less. Breonna Taylor should still be with us and her family deserved justice today. Tired of this shit.

— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) September 23, 2020

I don’t have the words. #BreonnaTaylor and her family deserve justice. https://t.co/1Vu1zwetVi

— Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) September 23, 2020

God bless Breonna’s family and all who knew and loved her. Her tragic death compounded by the violence of silence and inaction by the city she called home is more than any of them should have to endure. https://t.co/fcDmIWHlDS

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) September 23, 2020

So, no one is responsible for killing #BreonnaTaylor ?

— Mia Farrow 🏳️‍🌈 🌻🇺🇸☘️ (@MiaFarrow) September 23, 2020

my heart is broken for the family of Breonna Taylor. once again we’re left with nothing that they try to make seem as something 💔

— Ella Mai (@ellamai) September 23, 2020

Black Lives Matter. Breonna Taylor’s life mattered. What has been announced in Kentucky is not even remotely in the realm of anything that even begins to approach true justice for her murder. #BlackLivesMatter #BreonnaTaylorWasMurdered

— Anthony Rapp on Mastodon @albinokid@nerdculture.de (@albinokid) September 23, 2020

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