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Beyoncé Calls For Justice For Slain EMT Breonna Taylor In Letter To Kentucky Attorney General
"The next months cannot look like the last three," Beyoncé wrote demanding action for Breonna Taylor.
Beyoncé is adding her voice to the chorus of celebrities calling for justice for Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old black woman who was killed earlier this year by police officers conducting a "no-knock" search at her home.
The musician posted a letter to Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron on her website on Sunday, calling for the office to "demonstrate the value of a Black woman's life" by bringing charges against the Louisville Metro Police Department officers responsible for Taylor's death.
"Three months have passed — and the LMPD’s investigations have created more questions than answers," her letter reads. "Their incident report states that Ms. Taylor suffered no injuries — yet we know she was shot at least eight times. The LMPD officers claim they announced themselves before forcing their way into Ms. Taylor’s apartment — but her boyfriend who was with her, as well as several neighbors, all say that this is untrue."
Beyoncé went on to point out the lack of professional repercussions the officers involved in the shooting have faced. "Three months have passed — and zero arrests have been made, and no officers have been fired," she wrote.
"The LMPD’s investigation was turned over to your office, and yet all of the officers involved in the shooting remain employed by the LMPD," she continued. "Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officers Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison must be held accountable for their actions.”
The "Formation" singer ended her letter by listing the three courses of action she would like the Kentucky Attorney General's Office to take: bring charges against Mattingly, Cosgrove, and Hankison; act with transparency while investigating and prosecuting the three; and investigate the LMPD's response to Taylor's killing, as well as their general practices.
"Take swift and decisive action in charging the officers," she concluded. "The next months cannot look like the last three."
Taylor, an emergency room technician, was killed on March 13 after Louisville police officers used a battering ram to force their way into Taylor's apartment, according to The New York Times. Taylor's boyfriend Kenneth Walker shot at police, believing that they were burglars, he said; police opened fire, striking Taylor at least eight times and killing her.
Walker was initially arrested and charged with attempting to murder a police officer, but that charge has since been dropped, according to The Times. The officers involved claim they had knocked and announced themselves before entering the home, but Taylor's family — who have filed a wrongful death lawsuit — have contested that claim.
The three officers have been placed on administrative reassignment, but they have not been fired or charged, according to The Times.
Police executed the search because they believed that a man who they were investigating for drug trafficking was using Taylor's home to receive packages of drugs, according to a search warrant obtained by WAVE. However, police had already arrested those individuals and seized drugs at a different location before executing the search on Taylor's home, her family said in a statement obtained by the outlet.
Taylor's killing is one of numerous cases that have gained increased national attention as protesters across the country and around the world call for an end to police brutality and increased accountability for law enforcement. Her killing has also brought about change in the state where she lived; the Louisville Metro Council on Thursday passed Breonna's Law, which forbids the LMPD from executing no-knock warrants and states that all officers must wear body cams during searches.