Breonna Taylor’s mother says she’s not stopping her fight for justice

Tamika Palmer continues to push for police accountability a year after daughter’s shooting death
Updated: Mar. 15, 2021 at 11:14 AM EDT
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Breonna Taylor's mother Tamika Palmer
Breonna Taylor's mother Tamika Palmer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Through a year of roadblocks on her fight for justice, Tamika Palmer said she’s not slowing down.

Breonna Taylor’s mother told WAVE 3 News this week that with accountability comes change. Palmer said she can’t and won’t stop because in the end, she’s a mom.

It’s been a year since Palmer’s daughter, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, was shot dead in a botched police raid at her Louisville apartment. Palmer said her family hasn’t rested since.

“I can’t believe there’s been no justice in a year,” Palmer said.

Taylor’s family said they’ve stayed grounded because they can’t let people forget what happened to her.

“It’s heartbreaking, it’s depressing, it’s aggravating, it’s annoying, it’s exhausting,” Palmer said.

For Palmer, watching the release of body-camera footage and audio from that night throws more salt in the wound.

“Just disregard for her life, to watch these videos, see the officers chuckling and say, ‘The girl’s dead,’ that’s not funny,” she said. “Who does that?”

When she rewatches grand jurors’ interviews, she said the little trust she had for the legal system diminishes. Three anonymous grand jurors said they wanted to indict more officers for Taylor’s death, and said Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron blocked it.

”He lied to me, he lied to the whole world,” Palmer said. “Then there’s this other noise in your head.”

The noise is the call she received on March 13 last year, and the constant replay of the moments following. To close just a small part of the wound, Palmer said her family needs one thing.

“Justice, just to hold people accountable that did this to her,” Palmer said. “It’s not a hard task, it’s not a special task, it’s to do the right thing.”

Palmer said she is still waiting for a chance for her daughter’s case to be presented under a new prosecutor and for the FBI to finish its investigation.

”The wait is crazy,” she said. “I think that’s the hardest part of it all. Just to sit here and wonder, and hope and pray and cry.

“I feel lost. I feel hopeless. I feel heart broken.”

Palmer said she was upset to her reports that her daughter was not an EMT at the time of her death. Taylor still had her certification but had not practiced since 2016, her mother said. Palmer also expressed dismay at false accusations that Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was involved in drugs. And with a mother’s instinct, she said she has no choice but to keep going, pushing for legal reform as well as accountability for other families awaiting justice.

Last year, the city passed Breonna’s Law, banning no-knock warrants, and Kentucky legislators currently are considering a similar measure statewide. Several other police reforms have been introduced, including a requirement to outfit all officers with body cameras.

Also last year, it was announced that Taylor’s family would receive a $12 million settlement from the city.

Meanwhile, Palmer looks to the future for her nieces and youngest daughter, Ju’Niyah.

“Just to try and make sure she doesn’t become a Breonna,” Palmer said.

After the last year, Palmer said when she feels her daughter around her, she lets her know they are still working for her.

“I mostly say, ‘I’m sorry,’” Palmer said.

With a mother’s love, Tamika Palmer said she’s never letting go until somebody does right by her daughter, so she can finally lay her to rest.

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