In an event that served to bring attention to the push for justice in the shooting death of Louisville, Kentucky, resident Breonna Taylor, one message was resoundingly clear.
“To the folks who would say ‘we want you to have justice, we just don’t like how you do it.’ and the folks who would say ‘we want peace,’ let me say this clear. You’ll get your peace, when we get our justice,” said Sadiqa Reynolds, president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League as somewhat of a response to those who don’t like how demonstrators are demanding change. Reynolds was on hand for BreonnaCon, series of events that brought in families of those killed at the hands of police.
event organized by social justice organization Until Freedom also attracted activists, spiritual leaders, celebrities and more.
Civil Rights activist and BreonnaCon organizer, Tamika D. Mallory remains hopeful.
“We hope that the pressure that is being applied in this city, the attention and awareness that we’re bringing to Louisville is going to result in the officers who killed Breonna Taylor being indicted.”
Mallory also stated, in addition to true justice, the goal of BreonnaCon was to engage in community service and empowerment.
The four-day event included a news conference with the families of Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Atatiana Jefferson, Antwon Rose, Pam Turner and Botham Jean. It also included food giveaways, policy panel workshops, empowerment seminars and a demonstration.
Several family members of individuals slain by police and vigilantes stood with Breonna Taylor’s family at the news conference. The family of Trayford Pellerin, who was fatally shot 11 times by police in Lafayette, Louisiana, even sent their condolences to Tamika Palmer, Breonna Taylor’s mother.
Activist turned politician Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, gave words of unity.
“We are no longer taking our kids that are deceased and going home and being depressed and suicidal. We are going to stand together. We’re going to stand tall. We’re going to be here for these families.”
Brandon Williams, the nephew of George Floyd, echoed sentiments of the NAACP’s ‘We Are Done Dying’ campaign.
“Change needs to happen and it will only happen if we come together.”
Attorney Ben Crump, who represents the family of Taylor, pointed out an unfortunate bonding of the families in attendance.
“Many who are gathered behind us are in a fraternity that no parent wants to be in.”
He added, “We’ve got to act. We can’t let people divide us. We’ve got to be united. Because they’re picking us off.”
BreonnaCon ended with a massive demonstration on the streets of Louisville Tuesday, Aug. 25. This day, in honor of the late Rep. John R. Lewis, was named Good Trouble Tuesday. Hundreds from all over gathered to take part, including prominent Atlanta attorney Gerald A. Griggs.
“We wanted to be a part of it and bring that energy back to Atlanta, said Griggs, “and explain to Atlanta fully what’s happening in Kentucky, so we can bring more people from Atlanta to come up in solidarity.”
Leeza White, who is a member of the Atlanta chapter of Until Freedom, was responsible for keeping track of her team.
“I’m also helping make sure that the people I came with I also leave with,” said White. Some of those people have volunteered themselves to be arrested.”
She added, “Everybody is not meant to be out here on the frontline.”
Police arrested around 70 people during the peaceful protest.
Community members committed to the movement said everyone has a part to play. Sharlis Montgomery, the vice president of Operations for the Louisville Urban League Young Professionals, gave advice to her younger self as well as others.
“Keep marching! Remember your purpose. Remember the reason why you are out here. I feel like we should definitely be out here fighting for justice for people.”