Following the recent death of Breonna Taylor, as well as several other Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement, and the subsequent protests that have shaken the social and political landscape, Beyoncé has chosen to use her platform to speak out.
Beyoncé demanded action by releasing an open letter to the Kentucky Attorney General, Republican, Daniel Cameron. In her letter she demanded justice for Breonna Taylor who was killed by law enforcement in her own home after officers utilized a no-knock warrant, which many are now calling to be banned. The 26-year-old emergency medical technician was asleep when officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department entered her home to execute a no-knock drug warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend, whom Taylor lived with stated that he did not realize the officers were law enforcement, as they were dressed in plainclothes, and fired one shot at them, injuring one officer. Officers returned fire and shot Taylor at least eight times, which ultimately killed her. The officers involved faced no consequences.
The musician wrote to Cameron, regarding the tragedy, “Your office has both the power and the responsibility to bring justice to Breonna Taylor, and demonstrate the value of a Black woman’s life.”
Beyoncé called for criminal charges to be brought against the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers involved. Currently they have not been fired either. Beyoncé also asked that Cameron “commit to transparency in the investigation and prosecution” of the officers’ conduct while also investigating the police department’s response to the incident and the “pervasive practices that result in the repeated deaths of unarmed Black citizens.”
Following the fatal incident, the department released an report on the shooting that was vague and that also included some incorrect details. Most notably, the brief report listed Taylor’s injuries as “none.”
Beyoncé criticized the Louisville police department’s investigation of Taylor’s death, writing that official probes “have created more questions than answers.”
Beyoncé concluded her letter, “don’t let this case fall into the pattern of no action after a terrible tragedy,” she wrote. “With every death of a Black person at the hands of the police, there are two real tragedies: the death itself, and the inaction and delays that follow it. This is your chance to end that pattern. Take swift and decisive action in charging the officers. The next months cannot look like the last three.”
Following the release of this letter Beyoncé released a surprise new song, “Black Parade,” on Juneteenth, hours after the singer announced a new initiative of the same name to support black-owned businesses.
She wrote on Instagram, “Happy Juneteenth Weekend! I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle. Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power. Being Black is your activism. Black excellence is a form of protest. Black joy is your right.”
Photo Source: CNN