Advancement Project National Office Responds to Breonna Taylor Decision
Six months have passed since Louisville police murdered 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in her home on March 13, 2020. After months of nationwide protest and uprisings, and both local and national demands to defund the police, a Louisville Grand Jury’s decision was announced today.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron today made an announcement regarding the investigation into Taylor’s murder, stating that it was not up to him to decide if the loss of Breonna’s life was a tragedy and that, “the answer to that question was unequivocally yes.” However, the Grand Jury’s decision to indict only one of the three officers involved in the murder of Breonna Taylor was not only an insult to all those advocating for justice for Breonna and working to hold these officers accountable, the decision was also an insult to this country’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy.
In response to this decision, Advancement Project National Office is preparing to ramp up efforts in continuing to demand that the Louisville Police Department be permanently defunded.
“Again, the criminal legal system has protected police and not Black lives. Again, we are seeing no justice. We must continue to demand a radical transformation of this so-called public safety system so that we can all be free and safe,” said Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of Advancement Project National Office. “Let’s organize, protest, vote and repeat. Our power is the change agent.”
“While today’s decision is disappointing, it is not surprising that the criminal legal system has once again failed to provide a semblance of justice for Breonna Taylor’s family,” explained Thomas B. Harvey, director of Advancement Project National Office’s Justice Project. “We have to dedicate ourselves to finding justice for Breonna and accountability for her killers outside of this racist legal system. Defunding the police is just the beginning.”
Today, Advancement Project National Office staff will participate in an emergency panel at 3 p.m. ET to discuss the Breonna Taylor verdict, healing, and abolition. This panel is focused on proactive solutions and will be streamed via Black Lives Matter-Louisville’s Facebook account, linked here.
In June, Advancement Project National Office hosted a town hall featuring activists from Black Lives Matter-Louisville, and celebrities including Regina King, Sterling K. Brown and Tessa Thompson, all who called for the end of no-knock warrants and the defunding of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Together, we released a petition that rallied over 1,000 individuals to take action on the following demands:
- Defund the police
- Require #PoliceFreeSchools
- End qualified immunity
- Ensure elected officials refuse and return police union donations
- End 287 (g) programs
- Provide reparations for state violence against communities of color
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer also attended the town hall and was given the opportunity to respond to the demands and answer questions.
Today’s decision did not go far enough, it instead showed us just how much work is left to be done. Building on the steps that we’ve already taken, Advancement Project National Office acknowledges that there is no such thing as police accountability when this country’s legal system is set up to protect and legitimize even the most violent, predatory, and racist acts of the police. Our organization vows to continue working with organizers and activists to defund not only the Louisville Police Department, but also police departments nationwide, in order to place us all on a path toward building a world that is free and safe for people of color.