‘Black Women United’ Marches for Breonna Taylor
Saint Paul, MN – An all-Black-women lineup of speakers and performers gathered outside the Minnesota Governor’s Residence to remember Breonna Taylor on what would’ve been her 29th birthday had she not been killed by Louisville police over two years ago. Organized by radio personality, filmmaker, and activist Margaret Sullivan (‘Ms. Margaret’) after a women’s march in 2020 was cancelled, ‘Black Women United’ demanded justice for Taylor and raised awareness about other women killed by police.
Dozens gathered on a sunny day on June 5 at 2 p.m. on Summit Avenue in front of the Governor’s Residence to march for and commemorate Breonna Taylor. Taylor was killed by Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) Officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove in March 2020 by police serving a ‘no-knock’ warrant. Cosgrove fired the fatal shot.
“We saw what happened to Breonna and we saw ourselves.”– Ms. Margaret
Taylor’s tragic killing illustrates the systemic anti-Black prejudice in the United States and the continued failure at nearly every level of state involvement to provide liberty and justice to Black Americans. Authorities first concealed Taylor’s death from her mother, then prosecuted her boyfriend for attempted murder for defending himself and his partner from an unannounced armed home invasion.
No charges were filed against any officer involved in killing Taylor. Instead, Brett Hankison was charged with wanton endangerment for endangering Taylor’s neighbors from the bullets he shot that went through the wall into their unit. Hankison was later acquitted.
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Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, was immediately jailed and charged with attempted murder on a police officer. It took 12 months for his charges to be dismissed. Taylor’s family was given a $12 million settlement from the City of Louisville in the Fall of 2020 along with commitments to reform how warrants are handled by the police department.
After prolonged protests in Louisville during the George Floyd Uprising in 2020, several people lost their lives. David “Yaya” McAtee, was fatally shot by National Guard and LMPD as they enacted curfew on June 1. Photographer Tyler Gerth was fatally shot at the main protest site in Louisville called Injustice Square on June 27. Organizers Travis Nagdy and Kris ‘Roc’ Smith, who was also an independent live streamer and business owner, were also fatally shot not long after.
Community support group Justice 4 Louisville created a petition seeking 200 signatures for a historical remembrance marker in the City of Louisville to commemorate Taylor, McAtee, Gerth, Nagdy, and Smith.
Although women account for a smaller number killed by police than men, according to Mapping Police Violence, over 500 women have been killed across the United States by law enforcement since 2012. That’s over 50 women in the U.S. that are killed on average per year by the police.
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Of the several speakers from the all-Black woman lineup, three of them performed spoken word pieces. Each can be seen below in separate videos.
Brittany Delaney, Poet, Executive Director of Black Table Arts
Vine, Spoken Word Artist
Alley Angel Artist Aphropic, Writer, “Creactivist”
Sullivan, the organizer of Black Women United, created a short film last year called ‘When They Took my Baby Away.’ The film, below, focuses on Amity Dimock, the mother of Kobe Heisler, who was killed by Brooklyn Center Police in 2019.
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