Black Lives Matter’s past and present were both represented on Saturday in Kentucky when the father of Michael Brown attended and spoke at a memorial for Breonna Taylor. The protest also happened to be on the eve of the six-year anniversary of the day Brown was fatally shot by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer in 2014.
CBS News reports that around 200 people gathered near a mural of Taylor on West Main Street in Louisville to honor the 26-year-old EMT who was fatally shot by police officers during a botched drug raid on March 13 and to call for the cops who shot her to be arrested.
The demonstration was organized by Until Freedom, an out-of-state activist group. Until Freedom member Tamika Mallory told CBS that the “message is: arrest the cops responsible for killing Breonna Taylor.”
“I think we all know we have a responsibility to be out here for Breonna Taylor but not just for her, this is for our own lives,” Mallory said. “This is for our children and generations to come.”
Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., was in attendance and spoke at the event saying that he was “very grateful to be here and memorialize Breonna Taylor.”
“When you go through something like that...traumatic, it’s hard to find a balance,” he said referencing his own son’s death. “The only thing you want is justice.”
Along with the death of Eric Garner, Brown’s death is what prompted the Black Lives Matter hashtag and subsequent movement six years ago.
The memorial for Taylor and the six-year anniversary of Brown’s death comes just over a week after St. Louis County prosecutor Wesley Bell announced that his office would not bring charges against Darren Wilson, the former police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Brown on August 9, 2014. The decision was made following a five-month-long independent review of Brown’s case.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Brown Sr. also joined around 100 people who gathered in Ferguson in recognition of the anniversary of Brown Jr.’s death.
“Today, it’s just still hard,” Brown Sr. said at the event. “Over the years, going through and coming to this site, I was very angry.”
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