Photo of a mural of Breonna Taylor with the words Bring Me Justice

‘No Justice No Peace’: How LGBTQ Leaders Responded to Breonna Taylor non-indictments

On Wednesday this week — more than 190 days since her fatal encounter with police in Louisville, Ken. — Breonna Taylor still has no justice.

Three officers were facing potential indictments in the heart-rending case, in which officers with a no-knock warrant entered Breonna Taylor’s apartment on March 13, 2020, and fatally shot her. Officers had the wrong home. Of the three, only one was indicted, on charges of “wanton endangerment” — not toward Breonna, but because he fired shots into a neighboring apartment.

Reaction from activists across the nation was swift. In Louisville itself, local officials had already declared a state of emergency, the national guard was called in, and protesters and police clashed through the night, resulting in 127 arrests and violence, including two shot police officers.

Leaders in the queer community also reacted, including leaders of some of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights groups and other well-known figures.

“Yet again, the U.S. justice system failed to hold officers accountable in the unjust killing of a Black person,” tweeted Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “#BreonnaTaylor’s life is but one of many constant reminders of this country’s long history with discriminatory over-policing. May there be no peace without justice.”

David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, spoke out on Twitter, too.

Johns tweeted: “The fact that #BreonnaTaylor is Black means that she’s not seen as a person, by most, including the justice system, she’s the casualty of the lies that are told about Black people & all of the ways that we show up as not white. Sit with this.. #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor #ArrestThem”

In a follow-up tweet, Johns was more emphatic: “This indictment suggests that the lives of Black women lives do not matter. That police have the right to shoot and kill you as long as you’ve been associated with someone who has a relationship with the criminal justice system. The fuck?.! #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor”

Raquel Willis, former executive editor of Out magazine who currently works as Director of Communications for the Ms. Foundation for Women, criticized the larger legal and carceral system which led to Breonna’s death and the miscarriage of justice following the announcements on the non-indictments.

“#BreonnaTaylor deserved more living and deserves more now in death,” Willis said. “These systems operate as intended. Recourse for harm against Black women was never in the imagination of those who first crafted them. As we dream of and fight for a better world, we can’t ignore that truth.”

Closer to home, statewide LGBTQ advocacy group Equality NC said the decision to not indict officers for Breonna’s death was “shameful.”

And, in Charlotte, activists mobilized Wednesday night for an Uptown rally and march, covered, as they have all summer, by Queen City Nerve via Facebook Live.

Another rally and march, being called “Charlotte Unity Night,” is planned for Saturday, Sept. 26, beginning at 8pm at First Ward Park. The event is hosted co-organized by Million Youth March, Wheels For Equality, Feed The Movement, and other organizations.

Featured Photo: A photograph of a Breonna Taylor mural in Oakland, Calif., captured by Annette Bernhardt (via Flickr, licensed Creative Commons).