LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - On Thursday, thousands of people descended on the Kentucky State Capitol, demanding justice fro Breonna Taylor.
The event was organized by Taylor’s attorney Ben Crump, who helped bus dozens of people from Louisville to Frankfort. Rhonda Mathies was among those on the buses from Louisville. She told WAVE 3 News she grew up in West Louisville and felt she had to make her voice heard.
”It’s important to come to make a stand and to speak out, and to see everyone coming together in unity and solidarity for Breonna,” Mathies said.
Kayla Phillips also made the trip. Phillips said Taylor’s case hits home because she and Taylor are around the same age.
”We want arrests and convictions, and we’re not going to stop until we get it,” Phillips said. “That could’ve been me at home. That could’ve been a sibling, a friend, anybody. We’re demanding justice and we deserve that.”
Once there, the crowd was loud and passionate, attempting to pressure Attorney General Daniel Cameron to expedite his investigation into Taylor’s death and arrest the three Louisville Metro Police officers involved in Taylor’s death - Sergeant Jon Mattingly, Detective Myles Cosgrove, and former Detective Brett Hankison.
Among the speakers were celebrities Common and Jada Pinkett Smith, who spoke to the crowd about racial injustice. Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, also addressed those in attendance. She thanked them for their support and encouraged them to continue to protest.
”I love y’all and continue to do what y’all are doing out here because I need y’all,” Palmer said. “And I’m so grateful to y’all. I’m so grateful to all these people.”
Taylor was killed on March 13, when LMPD served a warrant for her home. Though officers obtained a no-knock warrant, both police and Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker have stated police knocked before entering the home. Once police made entry, Walker shot Mattingly in the leg, claiming he believed the home was being robbed. Police returned fire, killing Taylor.
On Thursday, Walker made an appearance on the Capitol steps, and was introduced by Crump as a ‘hero.‘
“We call a brother a hero who tries to defend his Black woman,” Crump said.
Taylor’s death has sparked outrage and protests throughout Louisville, and city leaders have taken notice.
Since May, the following changes have been made:
- Louisville Metro Council has banned the use of no-knock warrants
- Brett Hankison and former LMPD Chief Steve Conrad were fired from the department
- all LMPD officers have been required to wear body cameras
- Mayor Greg Fischer has ordered a top-to-bottom review of LMPD.
Cameron’s office is still investigating the case. There has been no word on when the results will be released.