Born: June 5, 1993
Place of Birth: Grand Rapids, MI
Died: March 13 , 2020
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Breonna Taylor is one of the most prominent police violence and misconduct victims.
Taylor was raised by her mother, Tamika Palmer, and her boyfriend, Trory Herrod, in Louisville, Kentucky. She attended local schools and graduated from Western High School in Louisville in 2011. Taylor briefly attended the University of Kentucky and then became an Emergency Medical Technician for the city of Louisville. She worked for Jewish East Medical Center as a full-time Emergency Room Technician (ERT) and a Practicing Registered Nurse (PRN) for Norton Healthcare. Taylor desired to become a nurse, but her dreams were cut short when she was gunned down in her own home by police officers.
Under a “no-knock” search warrant, Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, Detective Brett Hankison, and Officer Myles Cosgrove, all in plainclothes, stormed into the apartment. Thinking this was a home invasion robbery, Kenneth Walker fired one shot in self-defense. Sgt. Mattingly was hit in the leg, and in response, the other officers opened fire, releasing more than twenty rounds into the apartment. Taylor was shot eight times and collapsed in the hallway of her apartment. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Walker was arrested for attempted homicide but was later released before all charges were dropped.
The subsequently-filed police report was an inaccurate account of the events at Taylor’s apartment. It stated that Taylor had no injuries and no forced entry. All three officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative reassignment pending an investigation.
On May 5, 2020, Tamika Palmer filed a wrongful death lawsuit for her daughter's death. On May 20, investigation findings were given to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, while the FBI and US Attorney’s Office were also conducting their investigations. LMPD Police Chief Steve Conrad retired on May 21 amid criticism of his handling of Taylor’s case.
The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 sparked further outrage about police violence. It sparked a summer of protests in Louisville, Minneapolis, and throughout the U.S., Floyd’s and Taylor’s names were invoked by those who called for justice in demonstrations worldwide.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer indefinitely suspended the use of “no-knock” warrants on May 29. In June, the LMPD announced requiring all officers to wear body cameras and terminated Det. Hankison. In September, Hankison was charged with wanton endangerment for recklessly firing into an apartment adjacent to Breonna Taylor’s. During the same month, the city settled the wrongful death suit with Taylor’s mother for $12 million and agreed to institute reforms to prevent deaths. No additional officers have been charged, but in January 2021, Detectives Cosgrove and Joshua Jaynes, who prepared the search warrant, were terminated. In April 2021, Kentucky passed a law that partially banned no-knock warrants. Source.