The likes of Beyoncé and Michella Obama led tributes to the late Breonna Taylor over the weekend on what would have been her 28th birthday.
Taylor was shot and killed by officers during a botched raid on her home in Kentucky in March 2020. Last September, Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron failed to charge the police officers who fatally shot her.
A Kentucky grand jury indicted former detective Brett Hankison, who was charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment relating to gunfire which entered a neighbouring apartment [via BBC News].
But the other officers John Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, the latter of whom fired the shot that killed Taylor, were not charged.
Taylor would have turned 28 last Saturday (June 5), which prompted an outpouring of tributes online.
Thinking of you today, Breonna. 🖤
Artwork by Amy Sherald pic.twitter.com/9KToPPG1jB
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) June 5, 2021
— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) June 5, 2021
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) June 5, 2021
Artwork by Amy Sherald pic.twitter.com/G5QAU1xtu9
— Giles Paley-Phillips (@eliistender10) June 5, 2021
Posting on her official website, Beyoncé wrote: “Happy Heavenly Birthday Breonna Taylor”, alongside a photo of Taylor as a child.
Obama, meanwhile, said she was “thinking” of Taylor and shared an artwork by artist Amy Sherald.
Other tributes came from actress Viola Davis, who wrote: “Happy heavenly birthday Breonna!! We will never forget. We will always keep fighting.”
Happy heavenly birthday Breonna!! We will never forget. We will always keep fighting.❤🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/hgqikJbhrd
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) June 5, 2021
You are forever part of our memories!
— Lashrecse Aird (@delegateaird) June 5, 2021
Numerous artists also made statements calling for justice for Taylor in the immediate aftermath of her death. These include Beyoncé, who penned an open letter to the Kentucky Attorney General, and The Weeknd, who called for justice for Taylor and Jacob Blake in his acceptance speeches at the MTV VMAs 2020.
Earlier that month, on Taylor’s 2020 birthday of June 5, artists including Solange, Selena Gomez and Megan Thee Stallion made renewed calls for justice.