A number of NFL players expressed disappointment and frustration regarding Wednesday’s news that a Kentucky grand jury brought no charges against Louisville police for their role in the death of Breonna Taylor.
The one indictment brought by the grand jury was three counts of wanton endangerment against fired Officer Brett Hankison for shooting into Taylor’s neighbors’ homes during the raid on the night of March 13. The FBI is still investigating potential violations of federal law in the case.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that two officers who fired their weapons at Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, were justified in using force to protect themselves.
Ben Crump, a lawyer for Taylor’s family, denounced the decision as “outrageous and offensive,” and protesters shouting, “No justice, no peace!” began marching through the streets. Some sat quietly and wept. Later, scuffles broke out between police and protesters, and some were arrested.
Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by officers who entered her home on a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation. The warrant used to search her home was connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside. The use of no-knock warrants has since been banned by Louisville’s Metro Council.
Along with the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, Taylor’s case became a major touchstone for the nationwide protests that have gripped the nation since May — drawing attention to entrenched racism and demanding police reform. Taylor’s image has been painted on streets, emblazoned on protest signs and silk-screened on T-shirts worn by celebrities.
“If it was my sister or my mom or my dad — or, if I have kids one day, any of my kids — I’d be pissed off. Very pissed off,” Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins said. “The biggest thing with that case is understanding that life isn’t fair. We have to understand you don’t always get the things you want. It’s really disappointing because justice should be served for her death, Breonna Taylor, and this movement in general, this Black Lives Matter, and understanding the neglect of not only Black people, but people of color in general.
“The injustices, police brutality and systemic racism and everything of that nature, it’s bigger than just sports or politics or the color of your skin. It’s how you treat people. I was always taught growing up from my mom and my dad, you treat people how you want to be treated. If I treat people how they’ve been treated, then no one respects that and I wouldn’t be where I am today. … We have to do better as a country and as a people.”
Earlier this month, the New Orleans Saints launched a season-long #SayHerName campaign to support Black women in social justice and racial equality.