Two years after Breonna Taylor’s death, her family still wants answers: ‘We still don’t know what happened’

Two years after Breonna Taylor’s death, her family still wants answers: ‘We still don’t know what happened’
On March 12, 2022, artist Charles Rice gathered at the KULA Gallery in Louisville for the unveiling of a painting by Breona Taylor. (Joshua Lot / Washington Post)

Bianca Austin, who changed her life two years ago, woke up: her granddaughter Breona Taylor was shot dead in her apartment.

“From that day on, we knew we were dealing with a system that wasn’t designed for us,” Austin said.

Two years later, Austin and more than 100 people gathered at Jefferson Square Park, which activists call Injustice Square, to commemorate Taylor’s life and renew calls for justice for his death.

“We can’t focus on grief at this point because we still don’t know what happened that day,” Austin said.

Others said they came to support racial justice efforts in the city. Chris Harmer, a retired environmental consultant and education activist, said he was “scared” of Taylor’s death.

Harmer, who is white, said she visited the square every two weeks during the 2020 protests and plans to return to Taylor’s death anniversary this year. As a Quaker, she says it was important for him to be involved in this defense.

“I’ll be doing the business again next year and next year,” said Harmer.

The local justice group for Austin and Louisville helped plan the funeral service, which included speeches by Keturah Heron, an activist and state representative who spearheaded efforts to ban the ban in Louisville and the state, and performances by young local rappers Mighty Shades of Ebony. .

Chief Jacob Blake also spoke at the Taylor Memorial. Blake’s son, Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man, was shot and paralyzed by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 2020.

Blake said he and Austin have been close for the past two years since they founded Families United, a advocacy group that supports black victims of police brutality. “When B and I are together, we follow each other’s advice,” said Blake. “We are like brothers”.

Blake said he and Austin refer to themselves as “firefighters” because they travel across the country to help the families of those killed or injured by the police.

“We go where we need families”. Blake said. “This is a connection that only we can understand.”

Blake said the connection is so strong that she sees herself, Austin, and the rest of Taylor’s family as hers.

“Breona Taylor became my niece. “Her family welcomed me as Uncle Jake,” Blake told people gathered in the square. “B is with us now. Her spirit is here now. “

Austin agreed. He said he felt that Taylor was constantly sending signals, usually the number 313, on the date of his death.

“I’ve pumped gas before and it was $ 31.13 in total. The last two hotels I stayed in were in room 313. “I didn’t believe it,” Austin said.

At 3:10 pm today, Austin and the crowd gathered around a portrait of Taylor in her EMT uniform holding balloons in Taylor’s favorite colors of blue, white and silver. At 3:13 pm, people watched as they floated above the Louisville City Hall and let them go.

“Breona didn’t deserve death the way she deserved it,” Austin told the crowd. “All she wanted was to be with her family. Now you are her family and thank you for being here ”.

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Source: Washington Post