Breonna Taylor’s Sister Expresses Her Grief

    Before Breonna Taylor was a name chanted in the streets and scrawled on signs, before she was a face emblazoned on street murals and the cover of Oprah’s magazine, before she was the reason millions of Americans started clamoring for criminal charges to be brought against four Louisville police officers, before she came to symbolize the Black lives incomprehensibly snuffed out by law enforcement, she was Ju’Niyah Palmer’s sister — her companion, role model and confidante.

    “She was my person,” Palmer, 20, told The Washington Post in an interview. “I was her shadow.”

    And then, in a matter of minutes, Taylor was gone, and it all felt so impossible that Palmer couldn’t believe it had really happened. Taylor had been shot to death by Louisville police officers in her own apartment — their apartment.


    The officers had burst into the apartment shortly after midnight on March 13 while executing a “no knock” warrant as part of a narcotics investigation. (The person the police were looking for, an ex-boyfriend of Taylor’s who was a suspected drug dealer, had already been apprehended, and the warrant has since come under scrutiny.)

    Palmer hadn’t been home when it happened, and she wanted to go back to the apartment as soon as she could, she says, “so I could see for myself.” But her family urged her to wait. Three weeks later, on an afternoon in early April, Palmer finally returned to pack up the last home she would share with her sister.

    She and her mother sorted through Taylor’s room first. Then Palmer entered her own bullet-riddled room and sat once more on their childhood bed. From there, through the open door, she could see the place in the hallway where Taylor had fallen in the final minutes of her life. Palmer stared for a moment.

    “And then I started packing again,” she says. “I didn’t want to be in there.”Brings to mind the case of Atatiana Jefferson, a women killed by police officer doing a welfare check. 

    Still no word on whether an punishment will follow. The police departments of the United States and their unions are their own worst enemies. If you do not live in a hot zone, and your choice is between arming yourself to protect yourself versus relying on police, you choose the self- protection option. If you are caught in a situation where high powered weapons are being used to spray a crowd, the police will be incapable of protecting you anyway.


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