Oprah Commissions 26 Billboards Demanding Justice For Breonna Taylor

by Kristine Cannon
Originally Published: 
Breonna Taylor billboard Oprah

The billboards, located in Breonna Taylor’s hometown, call for the arrest of the police officers involved in the 26-year-old’s murder

Scattered throughout Louisville, Kentucky are nearly 30 billboards honoring Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old EMT who was killed in March inside her home in Louisville. The 26 billboards — one for every year of Taylor’s short life — were commissioned by Oprah Magazine and display the mag’s now-historic September cover featuring Taylor, along with the message: “Demand that the police involved in killing Breonna Taylor be arrested and charged.”

In addition to a quote from Oprah that reads, “If you turn a blind eye to racism, you become an accomplice to it,” the billboards also direct onlookers to visit the website for Until Freedom, an intersectional social justice organization that sponsored the billboards. According to Oprah Magazine, Until Freedom — co-founded by activists Tamika D. Mallory, Mysonne Linen, Angelo Pinto, and Linda Sarsour — has the support of Taylor’s family.

“Together, we will make sure no one forgets Breonna Taylor’s name and recommit to the fight for justice for her and her family,” Until Freedom tweeted. “We got this.”

Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville police on March 13 during a “no-knock warrant” raid. Since, none of the three officers involved — Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove — have been arrested in her death. Hankison was fired in June for having “displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life.”

Taylor’s death has since sparked protests, including one organized by Until Freedom at Daniel Cameron’s east Louisville home. According to Louisville-based station WHAS11 News, Until Freedom recently moved to Louisville from New York to raise awareness for systemic change in the Louisville Metro Police Department. Since the protests, Louisville has banned the use of no-knock warrants.

“Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem,” Oprah wrote. “What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice. And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of O magazine.”

The Oprah Magazine team revealed the historic September cover, which marked the first time in 20 years that Oprah was not featured, on July 30. The portrait of Taylor was created by 24-year-old artist Alexis Franklin.

“I cry for justice in her name,” Oprah wrote.

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