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Beyoncé calls for justice in moving open letter about Breonna Taylor

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Kayleigh Dray
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“[You must] demonstrate the value of a Black woman’s life,” writes Beyoncé.

Beyoncé is one of the most famous people in the world. And, over the weekend, she determined to use her platform and influence to demand justice for Breonna Taylor.

On Sunday 14 June, the Lemonade singer posted an open letter on her website addressed to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, in which she has urged him to bring charges against the police officers who fatally shot healthcare worker Taylor inside her home.

“Three months have passed, and zero arrests have been made, and no officers have been fired,” she writes.

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Taylor, just 26 at the age of her death, was shot and killed by police during a drug raid on her Louisville, Kentucky home on 13 March. The officers were investigating two people suspected of selling drugs, neither of whom was Taylor. They had been granted a “no-knock” warrant (something the Louisville Metro Council has since voted unanimously to ban) by a judge, which allowed them to enter Taylor’s apartment without announcing themselves, and they also weren’t wearing body cams.

Taylor was shot eight times and died at the scene. As per the lawsuit filed by her family, no drugs were found.

“The LMPD’s investigation was turned over to your office, and yet all of the officers involved in the shooting remain employed by the LMPD,” Beyoncé tells Cameron via her letter. 

“Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officers Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison must be held accountable for their actions.”

She goes on to urge Cameron to bring criminal charges against the three officers; commit to transparency in the investigation and prosecution of the officers’ conduct; and to investigate the LMPD’s response to Taylor’s murder as well as the “pervasive practices that result in the repeated deaths of unarmed Black citizens.”

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“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,” writes Beyoncé. “Don’t let this case fall into the pattern of no action after a terrible tragedy.

“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.”

Powerfully, Beyoncé finishes: “The next months cannot look like the last three.”

You can read her letter in full here.

How you can help demand justice for Breonna Taylor

Sign the petition

Sign the change.org petition, which calls for charges to be filed immediately against the officers involved, here.

Donate to Breonna Taylor’s family

There has been a GoFundMe set up to benefit Taylor’s family, who are “missing out on some work (and sleep) in this fight for justice.” 

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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