GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The U.S. Department of Justice charged four police officers Thursday for the death of Breonna Taylor, who grew up in Grand Rapids.
She was shot by Louisville police officers in March of 2020 while they were executing a no-knock search warrant.
Breonna’s Taylor mother, Tamika Palmer, spoke in Louisville Thursday. She is grateful for new charges but is also remembering the daughter she lost.
“Today is overdue but it still hurts,” Palmer said. “What we’ve been saying on day one, you all learning what we’ve been saying was the truth — that they shouldn’t have been there and that Breonna didn’t deserve that.”
Breonna Taylor’s cousin Tawanna Gordon woke up in Grand Rapids to the news of the new federal charges.
“We were beginning to lose that hope but we never give up. Just because you lose hope does not mean you give up and yeah, our hope was dwindling but we still refuse to give up. We knew that her rights had been violated,” Gordon said.
Gordon said the support the family has received from around the world calling for justice helped keep Breonna Taylor from becoming forgotten.
“We want the world to know, to be there as well. Follow this case. Follow each one of their cases. Let’s make sure we see it through just like we intended to see through her justice, and we’re still not done. The work is not done. We still have other people that are experiencing the same things,” Gordon said.
Jeffrey Swartz, a law professor with WMU Cooley Law School, said the Department of Justice would not have brought charges unless they felt enough evidence existed to make the case.
“Charges are based upon the lies that were told by the officer who executed the affidavit for the search warrant,” Swartz said. “For everything that occurred after that search warrant was issued is a product of those lies. Therefore, it’s a violation of Breonna’s constitutional rights because he lied on an application for a search warrant.”
The family continues to advocate for Breonna’s Law to be passed throughout the country to eliminate no-knock warrants.