In March, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by members of the Louisville Metro Police Department, after officers entered her Kentucky home using a no-knock search warrant. The officers, Jon Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hankison, have been placed on administrative leave, but have not been arrested for her murder.
In an open letter shared on her website Saturday, written on behalf of Taylor’s family and those who have been following her story, music superstar Beyoncé Knowles-Carter urged Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to charge the three officers.
“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,” the “Homecoming” singer wrote. “With every death of a Black person at the hands of the police, there are two real tragedies: the death itself, and the inaction and delays that follow it. This is your chance to end that pattern. Take swift and decisive action in charging the officers. The next months cannot look like the last three.”
As Beyoncé wrote in her letter, the department’s handling of Taylor’s murder has created “more questions than answers.” A police report released to the public last week contained little information about Taylor’s death and contradicted the accounts of witnesses, including Taylor’s boyfriend Lawrence Walker. For example, the report lists Taylor’s injuries as “none,” while she was shot eight times, and the box next to “forced entry” was checked “no,” despite witnesses saying that Taylor’s apartment was broken into with a battering ram.
“Commit to transparency in the investigation and prosecution of these officers’ criminal conduct,” Queen Bey’s letter continues. “Investigate the LMPD’s response to Breonna Taylor’s murder, as well the pervasive practices that result in the repeated deaths of unarmed Black citizens.”
Last week, the state of Kentucky introduced legislation that would ban no-knock warrants, which they call “Breonna’s Law.”
Hopefully, more changes will follow.