Beyoncé demands justice for Breonna Taylor in open letter to Kentucky attorney general: ‘Demonstrate the value of a black woman’s life’

Though many have complained that the death of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old EMT worker fatally shot on March 13 by officers from Kentucky’s Louisville Metro Police Department serving a “no-knock” search warrant to her home as she slept, has long been overlooked, her family now have a powerful new ally: Beyoncé.

On Sunday, the singer — who last week said the deaths of Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery had “left us all broken” during her address to graduates for YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” livestream — shared an open letter she’s written to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron demanding justice for her family, who have “not been able to take time to process and grieve.”

In the letter posted to her website, the “Freedom” singer noted that three months have passed since Taylor’s death — and “zero arrests have been made, and no officers have been fired,” a reference to the three policemen, officers Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankinson and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, who fired into her apartment. According to a lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family, the officers shot 20 rounds into the home — eight striking an unarmed Taylor as she slept — as they exchanged gunfire with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who has said he took them to be intruders.

A Seattle protest sign demands justice for Taylor. (Photo: REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson)

Pointing to inconsistencies in the case, which is still under investigation, Beyoncé added her name to those in the #SayHerName movement calling for criminal charges to be filed against the officers involved. She also pressed Cameron to “commit to transparency” while investigating and prosecuting the three men, and to review the “pervasive practices” used in LMPD’s interactions with people of color.

“Don’t let this case fall into the pattern of no action after a terrible tragedy,” she wrote. “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.”

In her letter, the star urged Cameron to “demonstrate the value of a black woman’s life.”

While Taylor’s death has resulted in a ban on no-knock warrants in Louisville — known as “Breonna’s Law” — and potentially on a federal level, many have expressed outrage and dissatisfaction with how her death has been handled. Earlier in the week, Jada Pinkett Smith, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé close friend and former Destiny’s Child bandmate Kelly Rowland and Sia were among those urging action on Taylor’s behalf.

On June 5, Beyoncé posted a tribute to Taylor on what would have been the late woman’s 27th birthday.

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