In the nearly 150 days since the brutal murder of Breonna Taylor by Louisville, Kentucky police officers, the call for arrests in her killing has been massive and demanded from millions across the world. Now, Oprah Winfrey is ensuring that people within Taylor’s hometown never forget the injustice that she faced by launching a billboard campaign across the city demanding that the officers responsible for her murder be arrested and charged.
On Friday, “O, The Oprah Magazine” announced the campaign and revealed that 26 billboards representing each year of Taylor’s life would be spread across Louisville, including downtown and on Interstate 65. Each display features the portrait of Taylor that will also be featured on the September cover of the magazine, which marks the first time in 20 years that Winfrey will not be on the cover. A very clear message is also sprawled across the billboards: “Demand that the police involved in killing Breonna Taylor be arrested and charged.” They also include the quote, “If you turn a blind eye to racism, you become an accomplice to it.”
The signs also let people know how they can also demand justice by directing them to the social justice organization Until Freedom, which just recently planted itself in Louisville to work toward getting justice for Taylor, O Magazine explained in a statement on its website.
Taylor was slain on March 13th when police entered her home with a no-knock warrant. They fatally shot Taylor while allegedly searching for illegal drugs, which were never recovered in the residence. The officers alleged that they only shot at Taylor after her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired at them first. However, Walker only fired at the officers in self-defense, not realizing that they were law enforcement. Instead, he was trying to protect himself and Taylor from what he assumed to be a break-in.
Since her death, none of the officers have been charged, and only one of the three involved have been fired.
“Breonna Taylor. She was just like me. She was just like you,” Winfrey tweeted of her decision to feature the EMT on the cover. “Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleep. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then, mayhem. What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice.”
Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, has since filed a lawsuit against Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, and Jonathan Mattingly, the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers who murdered Taylor.