Say Her Name — Breonna Taylor

Friends and Family Celebrate What Would Have Been Her 27th Birthday

On March 13, plain-clothed police officers in Louisville, Kentucky, executed a no-knock warrant in the middle of the night at the apartment of Breonna Taylor.

When police broke through her door, her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, a licensed gun owner, grabbed a gun thinking they were being robbed. He shot an officer in the leg. In return, police fired around 25 bullets, eight of them striking Breonna and killing her. Her boyfriend was arrested for attempted murder of a police officer.

The subject of the search warrant was not her boyfriend, but a man she had dated previously who had once sent a package to her home, and had already been placed in custody.

The earliest news stories covering her death didn’t mention her name at all, instead focusing on an injury to a police officer and referring to Taylor and Walker as “suspects.”

Today would have been her 27th birthday. She was born on June 5, 1993, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and moved to Kentucky as a teenager with much of her tight-knit extended family. She loved singing, playing games, cooking, and being with friends. Known as “Bre,” she was a first responder. Friends and family say she was an EMT because she cared about people. She wrote about it in a Facebook post.

Working in health care is so rewarding. It makes me feel so happy when I know I’ve made a difference in someone else’s life. 

Now her name is being chanted along with George Floyd’s by protesters against police violence across the country.

For what would have been Taylor’s 27th birthday, friends and family have planned a public celebration of her life on Saturday in downtown Louisville. They plan to release balloons and butterflies, and are expecting a large crowd.

“She always said that she would be a legend,” friend Erinicka Hunter says. “I just never imagined it would be like this.”

More details of Breonna Taylor’s story here at NPR.