Protesters took to the streets of downtown Louisville, Ky., Friday night as they have for months to continue pushing for justice for Breonna Taylor. Taylor, 26, was killed by police on March 13 after they entered her home while she and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were sleeping. After months of demonstrating, supporters, led by Black women, are left grappling with the stinging aftermath of the investigation and a fractured relationship with law enforcement that, for some, may be damaged beyond repair.
- The last thing you do is piss off a bunch of Black women. And this city done pissed us the [BLEEP] off! Now I'm mad.
MARQUISE FRANCIS: I'm Marquise Francis for Yahoo News. And hundreds of people in downtown Louisville gathered at Injustice Park to march in the name of Breonna Taylor. And led by the Taylor family, their message is simple. No justice, no peace.
- We got Breonna Taylor's brother and family here. So this ain't the "I'm ready to die" march. This is the "in solidarity" march.
- Breonna Taylor!
MARQUISE FRANCIS: When it comes to Black women, what is the message about this entire country making sure that we protect Black women?
- Oh, well, as a black woman here, you know, at Breeway, honoring the life of a Black woman whose life was cut short, it's everything. And so I don't think any Black woman right now feels safe or feels upheld in society the way that we should be. And so we just want to be valued the same way that every other race and gender and demographic should be in this community.
- Just because we're a minority doesn't mean we're not entitled to justice. She was brutally murdered, regardless of what her job was, who she knew, what they thought, and justice is not being done. It's being hidden. We're not being noticed and told the truth.
- They don't understand, like, this sh-[BLEEP] hurts for real. It's like, this sh-[BLEEP] hurts.
- At one point, Malcolm X said that the most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. And that still applies today. Some of us had to actually come and move into the Louisville area in order to keep the pressure around Breonna Taylor, not just in the streets, but to make sure that it is a national and international issue.
- Without Black women, you don't have children. You can't reproduce. Without Black women, you oftentimes don't have the compassion and the nurturing of the community. But we are also strong, because we've had to pull ourselves through generations and prove that we are not just intelligent, but physically strong, mentally strong, and we can endure. And this community will endure for Breonna Taylor.
- Whose streets?
- Our streets!
- If we don't show up now, when do we show up? You know what I mean? So it was important. He's been wanting to get out here. But I've been trying to, like, shield him from it. But in reality, reality is not going to shield him from the color of his skin. So we're here to do our part.
MARQUISE FRANCIS: Do you trust the police?
MARQUISE FRANCIS: Why not?
- Because they shot Breonna and George Floyd.
- I don't trust the police. I don't think we need the police. And at the end of the day, it is what it is.
- I trust the police to a small extent. At the end of the day, when something happens, I do want to call 911. But at the same time, I think to myself, are they going to think I'm causing trouble and not the victim in this situation? So it's a love-hate relationship.
- I've not had any real faith that law enforcement or that the criminal justice system is going to operate in the way in which it should.
- The fraternal order of police is one of the worst police forces around here in the United States. And they've been like that for years. And it's time for it to stop. It's time to stop. From the mayor's office to the rest of them, it needs to stop. If you want this next generation to go and carry out, you need to clean house now.
- This is where Louisville invests their money. Where your treasure is is where your heart is.
- We can never normalize injustice. Every single time that injustice rears its dirty head, we have to speak out against it. And we have to make sure that we never allow our children to believe that we've rolled over and are just willing to take whatever comes our way.