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On Wednesday, after six months of waiting for action on Breonna Taylor's case, a Kentucky grand jury only indicted one officer, Brett Hankison—and it was for shooting into neighboring apartments, not for Taylor's death. None of the three officers, including Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly, and Myles Cosgrove, involved in Breonna Taylor's death were charged with her killing.
The lack of accountability for Taylor's death in these decisions has prompted rightful outrage and heartbreak—just as the local government knew it would. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Tuesday, ahead of the decision, that he had declared a state of emergency for the city "due to the potential for civil unrest," NPR reports. The executive order allows the mayor "to exercise any of his emergency powers, including those to hire or contract for services, and implementing curfews and other restrictions." The increased policing threatened the safety of protesters in Louisville and across multiple cities responding to the news; Louisville police arrested over 100 people at last night's protests.
In response to the decision on Breonna Taylor's case, various celebrities and Black Lives Matter advocates have also been making their voices heard online.
Author Kiese Laymon shared a tweet that encompassed what the grand jury's decision really meant. "The grand jury focused on a fictional person who could have been shot when an actual Black woman is dead from real bullets," he wrote. "If Breonna Taylor wasn't there & those bullets that went into her went into a lamp, the same charges would be brought. Her life didnt matter to jury & cops."
The grand jury focused on a fictional person who could have been shot when an actual Black woman is dead from real bullets. If Breonna Taylor wasn't there & those bullets that went into her went into a lamp, the same charges would be brought. Her life didnt matter to jury & cops.— Kiese Makeba Laymon (@KieseLaymon) September 23, 2020
Kentucky-native George Clooney also spoke out about the upsetting decision, releasing this statement to ET:
"I was born and raised in Kentucky. Cut tobacco on the farms of Kentucky. Both my parents and my sister live in Kentucky. I own a home in Kentucky, and I was there last month. The justice system I was raised to believe in holds people responsible for their actions. Her name was Breonna Taylor and she was shot to death in her bed by 3 white police officers, who will not be charged with any crime for her death. I know the community. I know the commonwealth. And I was taught in the schools and churches of Kentucky what is right and what is wrong," Clooney added. "I’m ashamed of this decision."
Kerry Washington used the upset to draw attention to the importance of voting, writing, "Daniel Cameron is on Donald Trump’s short list as replacement of #RGB on the Supreme Court. The same man who decided to not charge the officers responsible for killing #BreonnaTaylor. Vote."
See what more are saying below.
Bulls--- decision!!! BLACK LIVES MATTER!!! Cannot be said enough times. https://t.co/HOrDQzHJ0d— Viola Davis (@violadavis) September 23, 2020
This is so so so so wrong, but I knew this was going to happen. I’m sick of this shit. #BreonnaTaylor— William Jackson Harper (@dubjackharper) September 23, 2020
This is is a PRIME example of Rotten to the CORE!!! UnJust!!!! Disrespectful and BLATANT DISREGARD!!!! Infuriated!!!!!!! https://t.co/TWVeV8Q3rp— Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) September 23, 2020
BREONNA TAYLOR. She deserves better. She should be alive. Bare minimum. But since she isn’t- I’m praying for her family. Praying for #LouisvilleKy— JoJo. (@iamjojo) September 23, 2020
NO JUSTICE NO PEACE— TINASHE (@Tinashe) September 23, 2020
The state of Kentucky deemed the lives of Breonna Taylor’s neighbors to be worth more than her own. Let that sink in.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 23, 2020
Amen 🙏🏽 shit is sooo sad and discouraging. https://t.co/2ex3OImFpv— iamcardib (@iamcardib) September 23, 2020