Image Source: Getty / Lester Cohen
Friday marked what would have been Breonna Taylor's 27th birthday, but on March 13, she was fatally shot by Louisville police officers who entered her home during an unannounced drug sting. Despite the fact that their main suspect was already in custody, Breonna was shot eight times and the three officers involved have yet to be arrested or charged. To celebrate Breonna's life, John Legend penned an op-ed for Entertainment Weekly, shining a light on the emergency medical technician and demanding justice.
"Breonna should be celebrating her 27th birthday today. Like so many Black women, she was an essential worker, an emergency medical technician, the kind of first responder we depend on to save lives during this ongoing pandemic," John began, adding that Breonna had dreams of becoming a nurse, a wife, and a mother. "But after midnight on March 13, officers from the Louisville Metro Police Department barged into her apartment, fired off more than 20 bullets, eight of which ultimately took Breonna's life. They had the wrong home and an illegal no-knock search warrant."
"Today I use my platform to demand justice for this essential person, this woman, daughter, sister, and friend."
The 41-year-old EGOT winner called for change and urged people to come together to fight against police brutality. "Now is the time for us to join together and emphatically SAY HER NAME. Black women created this call to action because we continue to wrongly talk about the generations-long crisis of police and vigilante violence in a gendered way, as if it only happens to Black men," he continued. "Today I use my platform to demand justice for this essential person, this woman, daughter, sister, and friend. While her loved ones need to be indeed in our prayers on this hard day, we also must commit to never stop fighting for justice in her name."
Image Source: Getty / JASON CONNOLLY
"Until elected officials create consequences for egregious and fatal police misconduct, they will continue to kill us with impunity."
John also addressed the widespread protests across the nation and the "war on Black communities" that turns police departments "into small armies who patrol what they believe to be 'battlegrounds' rather than neighborhoods, populated by 'combatants' rather than hard-working people with families and dreams." "Now the country seems to be on fire, and everyone is asking why," he wrote. "As we continue to work towards systemic change, I join Breonna's community in the immediate demand for justice: Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, Attorney General Daniel Cameron, and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer should finally arrest the three officers who killed Breonna and charge them with second-degree murder. Until elected officials create consequences for egregious and fatal police misconduct, they will continue to kill us with impunity."