Breonna Taylor family takes calls for change to New York City; thousands expected at rally

A foundation in Breonna Taylor's name broke ground in Louisville and is making its mark in New York on Saturday, and working its way across the country.
Updated: Oct. 16, 2020 at 9:31 PM EDT
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A get-out-the-vote rally is planned for Saturday in New York City in part in Breonna Taylor's...
A get-out-the-vote rally is planned for Saturday in New York City in part in Breonna Taylor's name.(Provided)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Breonna Taylor’s family said her legacy will live through their actions.

A foundation in her name broke ground in Louisville and is making its mark in New York on Saturday, and working its way across the country.

WAVE 3 News spoke with Taylor’s family during their trip to New York. The voting rally states away is supporting the change the family wants to see in Louisville and beyond.

Since Taylor was killed on March 13, stories of unarmed sons, daughters, fathers and mothers being killed by police have sparked protests and calls for tangible change. The stories include the names of George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Johnathan Price and more. Taylor’s family is in New York, connecting with other grieving families, all part of a community they once uplifted and never thought they’d be a part of.

The State of Emergency Rally connects the story of Eleanor Bumpurs, a mentally-ill Black woman shot and killed by New York City Police in 1984 in her apartment while police served an eviction notice. Bumpurs was being evicted from her apartment for being four months late on her $98.65 monthly rent.

Nearly four decades later, Taylor was shot and killed in her Louisville apartment while police served a search warrant. It was later revealed one of the statements on the warrant that brought narcotics officers to her door was false.

“Nobody should have to experience this,” said Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer. “There are people out there who feel the hurt that we feel, who knows the fight, cries. Exactly know what it’s like to have to be out here to have to demand justice for these injustices.”

Taylor’s family said they don’t want anyone else to lose a loved one at the hands of police or violence. The Breonna Taylor Foundation, created by Taylor’s family, is focusing on the election season to push for change.

Taylor’s aunt, Bianca Austin, said there’s strength in numbers, joining with other families whose loved ones also have been killed by police.

“It’s important that we unify and stand together,” Austin said. “You know it takes a village to raise a kid. It’s going to take a village to push forward and get the judicial change that we need.”

Taylor’s family has faced criticism for what they are or aren’t doing after receiving a $12 million settlement from the city of Louisville. The wrongful death settlement made history by including an unprecedented list of police reforms that the Louisville Metro Police Department are now required to implement. It was a legal proceeding separate from the state grand jury process and verdict.

“Lose your child at the hands of the police then come talk to me,” Palmer said. “Come tell me how I should feel or what I should be doing. Lose your child and come tell me what that hurt feels like, and for nobody to explain to you why your child is gone. They’re worried about the wrong things. Until you’ve went through what I’ve went through you can’t judge me.”

The Taylor family said they’ve blocked out the noise and focused on their Protest to Power caravan, which helps personally take hundreds of people to the polls in Kentucky. Palmer and Austin added their family is focused on the promise they made in Taylor’s name, to make sure there’s never another Breonna Taylor story. The family is working on accomplishing their goal with the families of Jacob Blake (shot seven times by a Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer), Sean Bell (shot and killed the morning before his wedding by New York City police officers), Alan Feliz (shot and killed by NYC police officers after being pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt) and more.

The rally is scheduled to take place Saturday across from Trump International Hotel near Central Park in New York.

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