• Clodagh Meaney

Beyoncé pens open letter calling for the arrest of Breonna Taylor's killers

The 26-year-old died when police officers entered her home in the early hours of March 13th

By Clodagh Meaney

Beyoncé has penned an open letter calling for the arrest of Breonna Taylor's killers.

The 26-year-old was murdered on March 13th when plainclothes police officers carried out a 'no-knock' warrant on her home where she slept, un-armed.

In the United States, a 'no-knock' warrant is a warrant whereby law enforcement do not have to announce themselves before they enter a home.

Three narcotics officers were executing the warrant on her home in Louisville, Kentucky, just after midnight where she slept with boyfriend Kenneth Walker.

Since her death, Louisville have passed Breonna's Law, banning the use of such warrants, however no further action has been taken to hold her killers responsible.

Addressing Kentucky Attorney General, Daniel Cameron, Beyoncé posted the open letter to her website asking for Johnathan Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankinson to be arrested.

"It has now been over three months since members of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) killed Breonna Taylor," the letter began.

"Plainclothes offices with a 'no-knock' warrant forced their way into her apartment where she was asleep and unarmed. Moments later, the officers fired over 20 shots into Breonna Taylor’s home, striking her at least 8 times."

"While 'Breonna’s Law' passed in Louisville and federal legislation has been introduced that will also ban 'no-knock' warrants, these small steps in the right direction are painful reminders that there still has been no justice for Breonna Taylor or her family."

The singer then outlined three major failings to Breonna and her family that have occurred in the three months since her tragic death.

"Three months have passed and the LMPDs investigations have created more questions than answers," she wrote.

"Their incident report states that Ms. Taylor suffered no injuries, yet we know she was shot at least 8 times. The LMPD officers claim that they announced themselves before forcing their way into Ms.Taylor’s apartment, but her boyfriend who was with her, as well as several neighbours, all say that this is untrue."

"Three months have passed and zero arrests have been made, and no officers have been fired," she continued.

"The LMPD’s investigation was turned over to your office, and yet all of the officers involved in the shooting remain employed by the LMPD. Sgt Johnathan Mattingly and officers Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankinson must be held accountable for their actions."

The letter continued by stating that the family have not been able to take time to grieve Breonna's death because they've been fighting so hard to get justice.

"Ms. Taylor’s family has not been able to take time to process and grieve. Instead they have been working tirelessly to rally support of friends their community and the country to obtain justice for Breonna," she wrote before adding: "Your office has both the power and responsibility to bring justice to Breonna Taylor and demonstrate the value of a Black woman’s life."

The letter then went on to urge the Attorney General to use his power to bring charges to the officers involved, commit to a transparent investigation as well as investigating the LMPD's response to the murder.

Concluding the letter, Beyoncé called for swift action to be taken.

"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," she continued.

"This is your chance to end that patterns. Take swift and decisive action in charging the officers."

"The next months cannot look like the last three," she concluded the letter before signing it "Sincerely, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter."

You can support the Justice for Breonna campaign by signing a #JusticeforBre petition here, and a #StandWithBreonna petition here.

© 2020 by EMPWR

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