Beyonce has written an open letter to the Kentucky Attorney General, demanding justice for Breonna Taylor after she was fatally shot by police in her own home.
The singer asked Daniel Cameron to ‘take swift and decisive action in charging the officers’ involved in the shooting.
Taylor, who was studying to become a nurse, was shot eight times by cops conducting a narcotics investigation on March 13. No drugs were found at her Louisville home.
In a her letter, dated Sunday, Beyonce writes: ‘Three months have passed and zero arrests have been made, and no officers have been fired.’
She adds: ‘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.
‘Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officers Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison must be held accountable for their actions.’
It is unclear which officer fired the shots which killed Taylor but a lawsuit filed by her family said the officers ‘spray(ed) gunfire into the residence with a total disregard for the value of human life.’
Taylor had no criminal record and worked for two local hospitals. The lawsuit alleges that the three police officers, who are now on administrative leave, fired at least 20 rounds into the home.
Scroll down to read Beyonce’s letter in full
Beyonce has written an open letter to the Kentucky Attorney General, demanding justice for Breonna Taylor after she was fatally shot by police in her own home
The three officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative reassignment while the shooting is investigated but they currently face no charges.
Their official report, released three months after the shooting, is mostly blank with few details of the incident and some incorrect entries.
It cites a police-involved death investigation and identifies Taylor, 26, as the victim. It also has a box to check for forced entry, which was checked ‘No,’ and it also said ‘none’ in a space for the victim’s injuries.
Among the inaccuracies is the claim that the 26-year-old had no injuries after she was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who entered her apartment with a no-knock warrant while she slept.
The report also states that the officers did not force their way into her home. However, crime scene photos showed police used a battering ram to break into her home. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer called the released report ‘unacceptable.’
Beyonce writes: ‘Three months have passed – and Breonna Taylor’s family still waits for justice.’
She concludes: ‘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.
‘This is your chance to end that pattern. Take swift and decisive action in charging the officers. The next months cannot look like the last three.’
The singer also urges her fans to sign a petition calling for #JusticeforBre and Stand With Breonna.
Beyonce had said of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis: ‘We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We’re broken and we’re disgusted.
‘We cannot normalize this pain…No more senseless killings of human beings. No more seeing people of color as less than human. We can no longer look away.’
Beyonce urged her fans to sign a petition calling for #JusticeforBre and Stand With Breonna
One officer in the Taylor case is already under investigation for sexual assault after multiple women came forward with claims, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Thursday.
Officer Hankison, 44, is said to have offered two of his alleged victims a ride home in his police car before molesting them and is accused of harassing a third woman at a bar as he offered to give her a ‘safe ride home’.
In each of the accusations, Hankison was said to have been in his police uniform and using his cop car.
The city’s Metro Council on Thursday unanimously voted to ban the use of controversial ‘no-knock’ warrants and named the new ordinance for Taylor.
‘I’m just going to say, Breonna, that’s all she wanted to do was save lives, so with this law she will continue to get to do that,’ Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, said after the law was passed. ‘She would be so happy.’
The law bans the use of the warrants by Louisville Metro officers.
Police typically use them in drug cases over concern that evidence could be destroyed if they announce their arrival.
Taylor had no criminal record and worked for two local hospitals. A lawsuit alleges that the three officers, who are now on administrative leave, fired at least 20 rounds into the home
Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was also in the home that night and fired at police. He told police he didn’t know who was coming into the home and that he thought he was acting in self-defense. The couple are pictured together
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul also introduced federal legislation Thursday that would ban the use of no-knock warrants nationwide.
Louisville Police did give more details about the shooting in a media briefing held on March 13, hours after the shooting. Officials said the officers knocked, announced themselves and then forced their way into Taylor’s apartment, where they were met with gunfire.
The detective who requested the no-knock warrant, Joshua Jaynes, also was reassigned.
Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was also in the home that night and fired at police. Walker was initially charged with attempted murder of a police officer, but that charge was dropped by prosecutors in May.
Walker told police he didn’t know who was coming into the home and that he thought he was acting in self-defense. Mattingly was shot in the thigh and recovered.
The release of Walker’s 911 call on May 28 marked the beginning of days of protests in Louisville, fueled by Taylor’s death and the death of a black man in police custody in Minneapolis, George Floyd.