“I was always telling her growing up, ‘We got to change history,'” Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, said
Taylor, an EMT and essential worker, was fatally shot by three police officers while in her own home in Louisville, on March 13. She was in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who fired a shot thinking there was a break-in because the police did not announce themselves or knock. They fired back, killing Taylor. As of June 5, the officers involved have not been charged with any crime. A civil lawsuit has been filed by her family.
“In that brief moment, where people forgot about her for two months at a time, people need to know that Breonna Taylor mattered and that Breonna Taylor was great,” Palmer said.
Palmer also talked about the “Say Her Name” movement, which brings attention to police brutality, specifically against black women. “The erasure of black women is a consequence of that fact that we don’t know their names and, therefore, we don’t know their stories,” Kimberle Crenshaw, the founder of the social movement and executive director of the African American Policy Forum, said during the interview.
“Say Her Name attempts to make the death of black women an active part of this conversation by saying her names,” Crenshaw explained. “If black lives really do matter, all black lives have to matter. That means black lives across gender have to be lifted up.”
“I just think she was destined to be great,” Palmer shared with the Cut. “Breonna just loved life, and people gravitated towards her. She lit up a room and had this aura about herself. She was also such a diva at the same time. I was always telling her growing up, ‘We got to change history.’ I told her ‘I’ve already done the teen-mom thing, so everything you gotta do, you gotta be better than me.’ And she just was.”
As protests continue around the country in honor of the death of George Floyd, attention to Taylor’s case is being discussed, along with many other black men and women who have been killed at the hands of police. Taylor’s family is gathering in Louisville to celebrate her life and memory.
“What happened to her should never happen to anybody,” Palmer said. “We want justice.”
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