Beyonce urges charges against police in Breonna Taylor death
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Beyonce made an impassioned appeal for justice Monday in the case of Breonna Taylor, the African American woman shot dead by plainclothes police as she slept at home, calling for criminal charges against the officers involved.
In an open letter, the singer noted that all the police involved in the March 13 shooting death remain on the Louisville, Kentucky force.
“Three months have passed — and zero arrests have been made, and no officers have been fired,” she wrote to the state’s attorney general, Daniel Cameron.
The police involved — Jonathan Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison — “must be held accountable,” she said.
She called on Cameron to use the power of his office “to bring justice to Breonna Taylor, and demonstrate the value of a black woman’s life.”
Besides criminal charges against the officers, she urged Cameron to conduct a transparent investigation and to probe the Louisville police department’s response to the killing.
Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was in bed asleep shortly after midnight when police executing a “no knock” warrant burst into enter her apartment in search of two suspected drug dealers.
Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, reacted by opening fire, setting off the exchange of gunfire that ended in Taylor’s death.
The officers say they announced themselves and knocked several times before using a battering ram to enter the apartment.
A search turned up no drugs, and the two suspects who were the target were already in custody.
Anger spilling into the streets over the deaths of African Americans at the hands of police has become a full-blown crisis in the United States, propelling massive protests and demands for deep changes in law enforcement.
Though prosecutions of police in the United States are rare, charges were brought against officers in the death last month of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Beyonce appealed to the Kentucky attorney general not to “let this case fall into the pattern of no action after a terrible tragedy.”