On March 13, Louisville, Kentucky police forced an entry into Breonna Taylor’s home where they then fatally shot the 26-year-old EMT. Since then, the killing has spurred national “Black Lives Matter” protests that have placed a greater focus on how ineffective police work has affected the black community. Taylor’s death led to the passing of “Breonna’s Law,” banning no-knock warrants, and the hiring of a new interim Louisville police chief.
Although Taylor is the face of the protests, she has not been the only victim of police brutality and social injustice. “This has been happening for some time, but it is now coming to light after all these years,” according to Shalonda Bryant, teacher at Highland Oaks Middle School. Taylor’s verdict did not begin the protests, but they merely added “fuel to the flame” said Tyler Stovall, 12th grader at Southwind High. BLM which started as a chant has grown into a movement after years of racial discrimination.
According to a study by the New York Times, between August of 2014 and August of 2015, Black Lives Matter chapters around the world had organized more than 950 protest demonstrations. Their call for social justice has ranged from targeting well-known police-involved deaths to less publicized offenses that eventually hit the mainstream media. However, their method of protesting has been deemed somewhat “questionable” in the eyes of law enforcement. There are people out there participating in peaceful protest and, on the other hand, there are people looking for “an excuse to riot and raid for reasons that have nothing to do with the Black Lives Matter Movement”, as reported by local police sergeant, Marcus Mosby when asked about the motive of protesting here in Memphis.
This movement and the coronavirus pandemic have arguably shared headlines over the course of 2020. Decisions regarding Taylor’s case are still being made. On Tuesday (10/20/20) a Kentucky judge ordered all grand jury records to be released to the public. Judge O’Connell’s intent was to bring some transparency to this case to show if “elected officials are being honest.” Even after Taylor’s incident led to the passing of a custom-made law for the state of Louisville, protests in other parts of the country have sparked “what about us” protests in different states. This law’s sole purpose is to ban no-knock warrants so that history will not repeat itself. Since then, the Tennessee Senate passed a bill banning no-knock warrants. In addition, Governor Bill Lee says that he will “look for options” regarding police reform.