LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Along with the name of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor's name has been a resounding clarion call as part of the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests against racial injustice worldwide.
Taylor, 26, was an EMT who was shot and killed in her home in what her family called a botched police raid in March.
On Thursday evening, her name became a part of a legal change as, on a unanimous vote, the Louisville Metro Council passed Breonna's Law, banning the use of no-knock search warrants by police. In addition, body cameras worn by officers will be required to be turned on five minutes before and after every search. Those who violate this will be subject to disciplinary action.
Breonna Taylor's mother and sister spoke with NBC's "The Today Show" on Friday morning.
"It's amazing that people are listening, that people are saying her name and learning who she was," Tamika Palmer, Breonna's mother said on "Today."
"Now that everyone knows her name, it does bring comfort because we don't have to fight alone," said Juniyah Palmer, Breonna's sister. "It's everybody fighting for her."
Tamika and Juniyah told "Today" that they are continuing to mourn their loss.
"It just never stops. But it's just those moments when it's quiet, it becomes extremely loud in my head. I just never imagined life without her," Tamika said. "It doesn't feel real. I'm still waiting for her to come through that door."
Breonna and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep in her apartment on March 13, when three plainclothes Louisville police officers burst into the apartment with a no-knock search warrant as part of a drug investigation.
Lawyers for Taylor's family said the couple was startled after the officers banged on the door and entered without announcing themselves.
The officers broke in the door. Walker, who had a licensed handgun, and thinking that he and Breonna were the victims of an attempted home invasion, fired, striking who he thought was a home intruder. It turned out that he struck a police officer.
The three Louisville police officers said they forced entry and were immediately met by gunfire. They returned fire, hitting Taylor eight times.
Two minutes later, Walker was on the phone with 911.
"I don't know what's happening -- somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend," he told the operator.
On The Today Show on Friday morning, attorneys for Taylor's family said the couple was startled when the officers entered without announcing themselves.
"Breonna wasn't involved in any drug activity, so they (the police) had no reason to be at her apartment that night," attorney Lonita Baker told The Today Show.
"Kenny and the seven other neighbors that live there say that nobody heard them announce themselves," Tamika Palmer said. "They did not announce themselves. Kenny called the police. If you say you're the police, I'm not going to call the police."
Walker was charged with the attempted murder of a police officer and aggravated assault -- but in late May, those charges were dropped.
A police report released by Louisville authorities this week is mostly blank and appears to contain inaccuracies, according to our Louisville sister station, WHAS.
Among the inaccuracies included is an indication that there was no forced entry into the apartment, and that Breonna Taylor received "no" injuries.
"When you read a document like this incident report and you see blatant misrepresentations that even suggest that Breonna Taylor wasn't hurt, that's injustice," family attorney Sam Aguiar told WHAS. "That's an insult, and that's just LMPD's way of doing things the wrong way. And it needs to stop. It needs to stop now."
Taylor's case, along with George Floyd's and that of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Ga., have separately, as well as together, shown a spotlight on racial injustice within the United States judicial system and ignited a firestorm of protest across the nation.
The die has been cast. Between the three cases, the clarion call demanding justice is ringing out across the nation, and with it, voices are being raised, seeking equal treatment by law enforcement and the legal system.
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