A cookie recipe. An NBA schedule. A "Wheel of Fortune" board.
While these images have no direct connection to police brutality or Black Lives Matter, they have all been used to promote the same message: Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor.
Celebrities, influencers and activists are saturating social media with memes that target audiences – whether sports fans, plant lovers or foodies – then shift the focus to Taylor's death.
Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was fatally shot at her apartment on March 13 by Louisville police officers serving a no-knock warrant. Her boyfriend fired a shot as officers entered, thinking they were intruders, and Taylor was shot eight times when officers returned gunfire.
A post shared by Adielenah | Writer - Director (@therewasatime) on Jun 17, 2020 at 3:32am PDT
One officer, Brett Hankison, has been fired. Two officers have been placed on administrative reassignment. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, serving as special prosecutor in the case, said his office is investigating the conduct of the officers and has not announced any charges. The FBI is also investigating the case.
The case stands out from other recent killings because the officers have not been prosecuted, said Scott Roberts, senior director of criminal justice campaigns for Color of Change, whereas officers in the George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks cases were arrested and charged.
Many feel that the cases of Black women killed by police are historically overlooked and neglected, Roberts said.
"It can drift away from our memory and next thing we know the folks who need to be held accountable feel like the pressure is lessened and they don’t have to act," Roberts said. “However, we have to keep this on our minds and on our hearts."
Adielenah Perez, a self-proclaimed plant enthusiast, has created memes to attract her following of plant lovers on Instagram.
One post starts off with "3 Ways to Care for Picky Plants" with No. 1 being "Arrest and charge the officers who killed Breonna Taylor and cancel their pensions."
“It became important to me to recognize that that’s who is paying attention to me,” Perez said. “And I don’t want to talk about plants right now.”
The secret to making shrimp and grits is to start by peeling two pounds of shrimp. Make a stock with the shrimp shells in a carrot, celery, and onion reduction. Finally, use that delicious stock as the base for your grits and arrest the three police who murdered Breonna Taylor.
— jonathan brown (@jonbrownmusic) June 19, 2020
In many cases, the memes list specific actions, such as calling Louisville, Kentucky, authorities and demanding the arrest of the officers involved.
At a news conference last month, Cameron acknowledged that his office had received calls from the public.
"To those across the country we’ve heard from with cards, emails and calls, and who are asking us to complete the investigation as soon as possible, we hear you, and we are working around the clock to follow the law to the truth," Cameron said. "Everyone involved in this case deserves nothing less."
The Breonna Taylor memes have taken both a direct and humorous tone.
For example, one meme shared by rapper T.I. starts off saying he's creating an "OnlyFans" page but then directs people to call Kentucky authorities to get the link and ask them to arrest the officers.
A post shared by TIP (@troubleman31) on Jun 26, 2020 at 1:48pm PDT
Another features a "Justice for Breonna Taylor checklist" with boxes outlining "fired," "arrested," "convicted" and "imprisoned" for each officer involved.
Social media influencer Kendra Thompson said the ongoing police killings of Black people is frustrating. Thompson, who lives in Louisville, said her community is saddened that there are no charges in Taylor's case.
She decided that instead of creating memes, she would organize 12 fellow Black female influencers to join her in taking photos of themselves with each word of "Today is a good day to arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor." It currently has more than 19,000 likes and has been widely shared.
"I want to make sure the people on my platform are seeing these injustices," Thompson said. “I think that constantly applying pressure is important.”
Today is a good day to arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor. Over 100 days and still no arrest, no charges, NO JUSTICE. We aren’t giving up! Please click the link in my bio for more info on how you can donate to Breonnas gofundme, sign the petition demanding justice, email @mayorgregfischer AG @danieljaycameron and @govandybeshear to demand justice. There is also a list with more resources you can use to get involved. #blacklivesmatter #justiceforbreonnataylor Pictured: @itsjustnumi @diy.microlocjourney @tasha_on_lock @katscoils_ @mimii.abdul @locmeupsis @_napsarethenewblack @mstanish1 @dorasgard3n @simplyyy.shariii @penny_queen @kendrakenshay @darkn_locd
A post shared by Kendra Kenshay (@kendrakenshay) on Jun 29, 2020 at 9:11am PDT
Researchers say the growing movement to get justice for Taylor – whether using creative memes or a hashtag – has made it hard for the public to ignore the case.
The #justiceforbreonnataylor hashtag has been used in 1.5 million posts in the past two months. Data shows the hashtag peaked on June 5 and again on June 18.
According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 80% of Black people believe social media highlights important issues that may not otherwise get much attention. The survey also found that Black people are more likely than white people to use social media as a platform to express their own political opinions or find others who share their views.
— 50cent (@50cent) June 26, 2020
Some critics, however, argue that humorous memes are ineffective for social media protests.
Seft Hunter, director of Black-led organizing at Community Change, said the memes could be perceived as not taking Taylor's death seriously.
"I categorically draw the line of anything that could potentially diminish the loss of life in this case," Hunter said. "And things that could create additional harm or pain to the family or to the loved ones."
But Brian Friedberg, a senior researcher at Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, said without the memes and the social media protests, Taylor's death could have remained a local issue.
The police killing didn't gain national momentum until May.
“This was previously a complexly buried story that activists were able to effectively mobilize in a short period of time by connecting it to influencers," Friedberg said. “The movement for Black lives is no longer able to be suppressed.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Breonna Taylor memes 'applying pressure' on Kentucky authorities