Amidst nationwide protests against structural racism and police brutality, which began again following the police killing of George Floyd on May 25, an important commemoration is coming up. People are also still mourning the recent killing of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who died after being shot by police in her Kentucky home in mid-March. As of June 3, no charges have been brought against the officers, and people are calling on Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to do just that, using Taylor's own birthday to highlight the cause. To be a part of the call for justice, here's how you can join the Breonna Taylor birthday card campaign.
Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician and former EMT, was shot and killed by police in her home on March 13. According to The New York Times, police obtained a "no-knock" warrant on a narcotics investigation and used a battering ram to enter Taylor's home just after midnight on March 13. Police claim they had intelligence one of the men they were investigating for allegedly selling drugs had received packages at Taylor's home, although he did not live there. After a brief confrontation, the police shot Taylor at least eight times, killing her. Louisville Police allege Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a round first. Walker claims he shot in self-defense from bed, thinking there was an intruder — the Louisville Police claim they made themselves known before entering, but Walker disputes this. There is no body camera footage of the shooting. As of May 21, the FBI has opened a formal investigation into Taylor's shooting. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the officers involved were placed on administrative reassignment on May 20 for the duration of the investigation.
To honor Taylor's life while also fighting for justice in the form of charges brought against the officers, Twitter user Cate Young, a freelance writer, organized a birthday card campaign for Taylor. On Tuesday, June 2, Young announced her plan: for supporters to send a flood of birthday cards — with a message calling for charges against the officers involved in Taylor's death — to the office of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who has the power to charge the officers with the killing of Breonna Taylor. June 5 would have been Taylor's 27th birthday.
Young posted an official #BirthdayForBreonna website with eight action items you can participate in to honor the late EMT, which include physically mailing a card to:
Office of the Attorney General
700 Capital Avenue, Suite 118
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-3449
Those who don't have time to make or purchase a birthday card can also print out a special birthday card PDF design, or you can send a card for $4 with Postable, which is available on the website. If you can't send a card, there are other ways to participate: sign the Justice for Breonna petition, which calls for charges against the officers involved, donate to the family's GoFundMe, send an email to the Kentucky Attorney General (you access a pre-written email template on the Birthday for Breonna website), or donate to the Louisville Community Bail Fund. You can also show your support by creating art and dedication posts on your social media accounts with the hashtags #SayHerName and #BirthdayForBreonna.
Celebrating Taylor's life — and advocating for justice on her behalf — is one way to show your support and fight for racial justice and equity. If you're looking for more actions you can take, you can also consider donating to support anti-racism and the Black Lives Matter movement. No matter your situation, there are always ways to help.