She is dead and her killers walk free. 

They murdered Breonna Taylor in the dead of night, in the supposed safety of her home, in her own bed. They fired more 32 times through her apartment door, without care for who was behind it. In essence, these police officers charged and convicted her of her own Blackness, and they executed her for it. 

She is dead and her killers walk free. 

Two of her killers were not charged, and the other was charged only with “wanton endangerment”. Kentucky’s attorney general says that even these charges stem from the grand jury’s belief that he endangered three people in the apartment next to Breonna Taylor’s — not because he endangered her or her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. 

She is dead and her killers walk free. 

With a minimal bond, even the one officer who has been charged will avoid jail until his trial. 

She is dead and her killers walk free. 

What value do we put on a human life? Apparently the answer depends on which life we are examining — ours, a family member’s, someone who looks like us? Can any one of us seriously imagine a circumstance in which someone shot into a wealthy white man’s home and killed him, and that person was not charged? Could we even imagine police ever shooting into that man’s home? No — because police officers do not view that man as a threat. Instead, they viewed Breonna Taylor, her boyfriend, and their home as a threat. 

I don’t know what must come first — a change to our hearts or a change to our policies. But whichever must change first, we cannot rest until we see Breonna Taylor’s life as inherently valuable. Until her killers receive the same treatment as the killers of a wealthy white man. That is justice. 

She is dead and her killers walk free. Justice is dead and we have killed it through our refusal to grapple with the sins of racism. We can never raise Breonna Taylor. Is there still time for us to raise justice? 

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