Following Crump, others including the family, activists, and the father of Jacob Blake, a man shot by Wisconsin police last month, spoke on the grand jury’s unjust decision. “Tell the truth, Daniel Cameron. Did you make the decision or did the grand jury make the decision?” Lonita Baker, Tamika Palmer’s attorney, said during the conference. Palmer is Breonna Taylor’s mother. The heart-wrenching press conference shed light on the ongoing inequalities Black folks face, both at the hands of the police and when seeking justice
Lawyer Ben Crump calls out Kentucky AG: ‘Did he present any evidence on Breonna Taylor’s behalf? Or did he make a unilateral decision to put his thumb on the scales of justice?’ pic.twitter.com/A8ZSs9grQD
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 25, 2020
Father of Jacob Blake, Jacob Blake Sr. speaks at a press conference held by Breonna Taylor’s family
“I am an angry Black woman … angry because our Black women keep dying at the hands of police officers,” Palmer said in a statement responding to the lack of charges, read by Taylor’s aunt Bianca Austin. In a powerful and heart-wrenching move, Austin wore Taylor’s jacket during the press conference. Austin explained that the experience has been “draining” for her sister in a number of ways. Palmer’s statement continued to criticize Cameron’s inability to achieve justice for her daughter, as she said, “I never had faith in Daniel Cameron.”
Breonna Taylor’s aunt, Bianca Austin, speaks wearing Taylor’s EMT jacket
Cameron “had the power to do the right thing. He had the power to start the healing of this city,” the statement said. Palmer added that the decision made her realize “it will always be us against them. That we are never safe when it comes to them.” The statement continued to say that Palmer had “no faith in the legal system, in the police, in the laws that are not made to protect us Black and brown people.” Palmer’s heart-wrenching statement continued: “You didn’t just rob me and my family, you robbed the world of a queen … a queen who was starting to pave her path.”
The unfortunate reality is that Cameron serves as the state’s first Black attorney general, an identity he noted during a press conference Wednesday following the grand jury decision. During the conference, he claimed that the “use of force” by the officers that killed Taylor was justified by Kentucky law. Responding to the grief and lack of justice the Black community has faced Cameron said: “Criminal law is not meant to respond to every sorrow and grief, and that is true here.”
Protests erupted nationwide Wednesday following the jury decision, with demonstrators demanding the officers face charges related to Taylor’s death. While one of the three officers involved was indicted, he was indicted not in relation to Taylor’s death but because he blindly fired shots that hit the walls of a neighbor’s apartment. This proves that Louisville values the disruption of neighbors more than Black lives.
“No wanton murder charges for the bullets that mutilated Breonna Taylor’s body?” Crump said during the conference. “There seems to be two justice systems in America, one for Black America and one for white America. … It follows a pattern … of the blatant disrespect and marginalization of Black people, but especially Black women in America who have been killed by police,” he added.
The family and activists present at the conference emphasized the importance of “saying her (Taylor’s) name” while pleading with the media to stop reporting protests as violent. According to a report by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), more than 93% of protests across the country for Black Lives Matter and against racial injustice are peaceful. Despite this, the media and Trump administration continue to highlight protests following the George Floyd incident as violent and disruptive.
Breonna Taylor’s family attorney Ben Crump calls for peaceful protests only: “Respect Breonna, especially now when she wasn’t respected in this grand jury proceeding. Let’s show Breonna the ultimate respect by having peaceful protests in her name.” https://t.co/HV6VdzmJSi pic.twitter.com/PHLbdiUltt
— The View (@TheView) September 24, 2020
According to CNN, the family and their attorneys are not the only ones who have called for the transcripts to be released. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, and former Kentucky Assistant Attorney General John W. Stewart have also called for the grand jury transcripts to be released. “If these two officers did not get indicted, then the grand jury testimony ought to be public. You can’t hide behind the secrecy of the grand jury,” Stewart told CNN. Fischer noted on Thursday that the city will be working with the FBI to determine what information can be released.
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