There are plenty of indications that the current fight against systemic racism in policing has gained more traction than we’ve seen since the Black Lives Matter movement began. Obviously, the fact that protests and demonstrations are still being held all over the nation and much of the world is a clear indicator, but it’s more than that.
There are now studies that show a majority of Americans across races and ethnicities (meaning, even white people) support the movement, and news on race in America has dominated mainstream media for months. Recently, the Change.org petition calling for the cops who shot Breonna Taylor to be arrested and charged has surpassed the 10 million signature mark, making it the petition with the second most signatures in Change.org’s history—second only to the petition demanding justice for George Floyd which has received more than 19 million signatures.
The petition calls for the four officers involved in Taylor’s death—John Mattingly, Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, Joshua Jaynes—as well as “any other law enforcement officer involved in the death and coverup of the death” to be “fired, charged, and arrested immediately” and for their pensions to be revoked. It also calls for Taylor’s family to be “paid in damages for wrongful death and the negligence of the LMPD,” and for no-knock warrants to be outlawed, not just in Louisville, but all over the country. Finally, the petition calls for Gov. Andy Beshear to speak up on behalf of Taylor and for Attorney General Daniel Cameron to “appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Louisville Police Department.”
The petition is still gaining signatures, likely because almost none of what it calls for has come to fruition. Beshear has publicly advocated for justice for Breonna, but, despite the petition specifically mentioning that an “ in-house investigation is unacceptable,” Cameron basically appointed himself as special prosecutor in Taylor’s case.
While the “Breonna Taylor Law” has moved forward banning no-knock warrants in the city of Louisville, no legislation has been signed into law banning the warrants on a federal level. However, last month, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul did introduce a bill dubbed “The Justice for Breonna Taylor Act” which “bans federal law enforcement officers from carrying out a warrant ‘until after the officer provides notice of his or her authority and purpose’ and blocks state and local law enforcement agencies that receive Justice Department funding from carrying out warrants that do not require the officer involved ‘to provide notice of his or her authority and purpose before forcibly entering a premises,’” CNN reports.
To date, none of the officers involved in Taylor’s shooting have been charged with a single crime (although one officer, Hankison, has been fired), so the first and most prominent demand of the petition has yet to be fulfilled. In fact, it doesn’t appear that any substantial progress has been made on that front. So you can expect that the number of signatures the petition receives to continue to grow.
The people want justice for Breonna and will accept nothing less.