Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old emergency medical technician (EMT) who was shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police on March 13 during a late-night raid on her home where her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was also sleeping.
Taylor was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on June 5, 1993, to Tamika Palmer and Trory Herrod, according to her obituary. She graduated from Western High School in 2011 and went on to study at the University of Kentucky.
She became an EMT for the city of Louisville, and she also worked at two local hospitals. Taylor was a full-time ER technician for the University of Louisville Jewish Hospital and she worked as needed for Norton Healthcare.
It’s been two months since 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, was fatally shot by police officers during what has been described as a “botched execution of a warrant.” Now, Taylor’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Police Department and is being represented by the same attorney who has represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and currently, Ahmaud Arbery.
The Washington Post reports that civil rights attorney Ben Crump who has been involved in a multitude of cases, including the aforementioned, where black people have been killed by police and by vigilantes was hired Monday to represent Taylor’s family.
For those who are unfamiliar with the case of Breonna Taylor, she was shot to death in her apartment on March 13 after officers arrived to execute a search warrant for a suspected drug dealer who did not live at Taylor’s address and had actually already been arrested. Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, was at her apartment that night and shot at who he says he thought were people trying to break in. He said the officers didn’t announce themselves as police. The firefight that ensued after Walker fired a shot, hitting an officer in the leg, ended in police firing more than 20 shots into the apartment, eight of which hit Taylor and took her life. Walker, who is a registered gun owner, has been charged with first-degree assault and attempted murder of a police officer.
Along with filing a lawsuit against the police, Crump and Taylor’s family are seeking more media and activist attention for Breonna’s case.
As the Post acknowledges, “pandemic headlines were partly to blame in drowning out news of Taylor’s death,” but that doesn’t bring any comfort to her family, especially since, as an EMT, she was one of the people on the front lines in battling that same pandemic.
Crump also said “We stand with the family of this young woman in demanding answers from the Louisville Police Department. Despite the tragic circumstances surrounding her death, the Department has not provided any answers regarding the facts and circumstances of how this tragedy occurred, nor have they taken responsibility for her senseless killing.”
They initially arrested her boyfriend Kenneth Walker for firing his purchased and registered fire arm at the police when they entered his house unannounced in the middle of the night.
Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine asked a judge to dismiss the case against Kenneth Walker. Walker, boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, was charged with attempted murder of a police officer after he started shooting at officers executing a no-knock search warrant at Taylor’s apartment.
In addition to being charged with attempted murder of a police officer, Walker was also charged with first degree assault.
Walker hit one officer in the leg when he fired his gun thinking it was a home invasion. Wine said that while reports said the officer was hit in the leg, it could have been significantly worse if not for his wallet in his pocket.
“There is no amount of cocaine, heroin, marijuana…worth the life of a human being, whether it’s a civilian or police officer,” Wine said.
The FBI has opened investigation into Taylor’s death after Louisville Metro Police handed over its investigation findings.