GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Monday marked three years since Grand Rapids native Breonna Taylor was killed by an officer with the Louisville Metro Police Department.
“I can’t believe it’s been three years and there still hasn’t been any justice,” her sister, Dee Dee Taylor, said.
Her sister organized a memorial and balloon release with Taylor Made Re-entry and Fair Voting Alliance at Rosa Parks Circle Monday afternoon.
“This event means so much to me than you all can even imagine,” Dee Dee Taylor said.
Royal blue balloons symbolized Breonna Taylor’s memory and legacy as the balloons were carried by Breonna Taylor’s family and members of the Grand Rapids Police Department.
“She was bright. She was witty. She loved her family. She loved her parents and she was always one that would help out among her sisters and one brother,” Janice Rostic, the paternal grandmother of Breonna Taylor, said.
The grandmother holds her granddaughter’s memory close. She told News 8 the memories of Breonna Taylor are beautiful, but there is still pain and hurt.
“Because her name has to be up in a circumstance like it is,” Rostic said.
Former LMPD officer Brett Hankinson shot Breonna Taylor multiples time while officers executed a no-knock search warrant at her apartment.
Taylor’s boyfriend fired a shot at officers as they came through the door. He believed her ex-boyfriend was forcing his way inside. Police then returned more shots striking Taylor.
Since the shooting, Hankinson and three other officers have been federally charged with her death.
The three-year anniversary comes days after the United States Department of Justice announced the Louisville Metro Police Department has a pattern of discrimination. The DOJ spent two years investigating the department.
“I hope we can do more. I hope we can change this narrative and hold people more accountable. Again, we lost a precious life. She’s not here right now and no other family should have to suffer,” Dee Dee Taylor said.
Her family is thankful her legacy lives on, especially in her hometown of Grand Rapids, where she is memorialized by the city with Breonna Taylor Way.
“She’s a Grand Rapidian. Her family still lives here and we are so thankful her sister and her grandmother reached out to us and invited us. Of course I told them anytime they invite us we will be here to support the family, and it means a lot to me and it means a lot to the Grand Rapids Police Department to be involved in this,” Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom said.
Three years after her death, the Taylor family wants more to be done.
“We want justice. We want the people that was responsible for her death to be accountable. Because we feel like she should still be here with us. We (are) just going to keep believing in the Lord and we believe we will get the justice we (are) asking for,” Terry Rostic, Breonna Taylor’s uncle, said.