People gather in Louisville to remember Breonna Taylor 3 years after her death
It’s been nearly three years since Louisville Metro Police officers shot and killed Taylor while serving a late-night, no-knock warrant, but for those who knew her, it feels as though no time has passed.
“I wake up every morning thinking that we’re going to have a little family get-together and we’re going to see Bre, but she’s just not here,” said Jaionna Beard, Taylor’s cousin. “It feels like it was legit just yesterday when it all started happening.”
For Taylor’s family, it’s important that no matter how much time has passed, her memory and what happened to her are remembered.
“We never let people forget how she died so horrifically,” said her aunt Bianca Austin.
Austin described Taylor as sweet, down-to-earth, thriving and innocent.
She said by remembering Taylor’s death at the hands of LMPD, she hopes fewer people have similar fates.
“It’s important that we take steps to make sure it’s not your sister, daughter, or mom next. I think we all have a responsibility for that,” Austin said.
Lannan Park is home to a basketball court painted in Taylor’s honor. Activists and family members of Taylor met there before caravaning to Jefferson Square Park, which became a hub for demonstrators during the 2020 protests.
Once they reached Jefferson Square Park, demonstrators held a moment of silence in Taylor’s honor.
The anniversary of Taylor's death, March 13, comes just days after the Department of Justice announced the findings of its investigation into LMPD.
The investigation concluded that LMPD engages in “a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives people of their rights under the Constitution and federal law.”
The scathing report said Louisville police have practiced “an aggressive style of policing that it deploys selectively, especially against Black people, but also against vulnerable people throughout the city.”
These findings validated many of the things activists and other Louisville residents have been saying, and long-time protestors have hoped this will lead to change.
“With the report, I guess there’s a hopefulness that things will become better or there will be accountability on LMPD for injustices they do against, in particular, Black people,” said Tahasha Halloway.
While the DOJ report is viewed as a step in the right direction, many feel Taylor still has not received justice.
“People have been called out, there’s been charges, but nothing has happened to the majority of the people involved in that,” Halloway said.
In 2022, the Department of Justice charged four former LMPD officers in connection with Taylor’s death. None of them were charged directly for Taylor’s death but rather with civil rights violations.
“Nobody has been [held] responsible for her murder,” Austin said.
Austin sees that as a key step not only in justice for her niece but in having accountability and transparency from the police and government.
She is looking for acknowledgment and change at all levels of government, including Gov. Andy Beshear.
“I think he’s been [riding] the fence this whole time about the investigation and the murder of Breonna Taylor,” Austin said.
She also hopes Mayor Craig Greenberg is “prepared to make these decisions moving forward that will help his community like he said he would.”
One of those decisions is who Greenberg appoints as permanent police chief. Austin wants someone who is going to work to improve the department and help the community move forward.
“I just hope that everybody is prepared for change, judicial change, start making laws and passing laws,” Austin said.