Grammy-winning singer Beyoncé penned an open letter to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron over the weekend calling for charges to be brought against the police officers responsible for the death of emergency room technician Breonna Taylor, an unarmed black woman who was killed during a botched police raid back in March.
In her letter, Beyoncé noted the lack of arrests that have been made in the three months following the shooting, which saw local police storming Taylor’s home after obtaining a no-knock warrant in connection with a drug investigation. However, no drugs were ever found at the property. The FBI is investigating Taylor’s death.
“Three months have passed – and zero arrests have been made and no officers have been fired,” the Lemonade singer wrote. “The [Louisville Metro Police Department’s] investigation was turned over to your office, and yet all of the officers involved in the shooting remain employed by the LMPD. Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, and Officers Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankinson must be held accountable for their actions.”
While “Breonna’s Law” passed in Louisville and federal legislation has been introduced that will ban no-knock warrants, these small steps in the right direction are painful reminders that there has still been no justice for Breanna Taylor of her family.
Three months have passed — and Breonna Taylor’s family still waits for justice. Ms. Taylor’s family has not been able to take time to process and grieve. Instead, they have been working tirelessly to rally the support of friends, their community, and the country to obtain justice for Breonna.
Beyoncé’s letter comes as Black Lives Matter protests continue to spread across America and other parts of the world following the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody. Footage showing Floyd begging for air as an officer placed his knee on his neck, sparked the protests and rioting in cities across the country.
Meanwhile, Beyoncé went on to urge the Kentucky Attorney General to prosecute the case and “demonstrate the value of a Black woman’s life.”
Your office has both the power and the responsibility to bring justice to Breonna Taylor, and demonstrate the value of a Black woman’s life. I urge you to use that power and: Bring charges against Jonathan Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankinson. Commit to transparency in the investigation and prosecution of these officers’ criminal conduct.
Investigate the LMPD’s response to Breonna Taylor’s murder, as well the pervasive practices that result in the repeated deaths of unarmed Black citizens. Don’t let this case fall into the pattern of no action after a terrible tragedy. With every death of a Black person at the hands of the police, there are two real tragedies: the death itself, and the inaction and delays that follow it.
Beyoncé, who has previously polled as the most politically divisive celebrity in America and has for years supported Black Lives Matter, is not the only megastar to publicly express her support for the case of Breanna Taylor. Earlier this month, it was reported that Kanye West had offered to pay the Taylor family’s legal fees in their wrongful death lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Police Department.