Kerry Washington, Lebron James, Yara Shahidi and other celebrities are reacting to a grand jury’s decision to not charge any of the three officers as being responsible in the shooting that led to the death of Breonna Taylor of Louisville, Kentucky.
Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 23, Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced during a press conference that the Jefferson County grand jury had voted not to charge the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers for Taylor’s death. Instead, the jury charged Brett Hankison, a now former officer, with three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for shooting into the apartment of Taylor’s neighbors during the raid. The other two officers, Sgt. John Mattingly and detective Myles Cosgrove, were not charged. Mattingly and Cosgrove remain on the force, while Hankison was fired back in June. Cameron also said that the use of force by two other officers in the case was “justified” to protect themselves.
On March 13, the 26-year-old emergency medical technician reportedly was shot five times by police while asleep in her bed. Police claimed they identified themselves before entering her home on a no-knock warrant, but this has been disputed by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who was with her at the time, and reportedly by 11 other witnesses.
Taylor’s death sparked protests around the nation and among high-profile celebrities who called for charges to be brought against the officers responsible. Officers were at Taylor’s home on a drug raid relating to her ex-boyfriend, who didn’t live at the property.
Following the grand jury’s decision, stars took to social media to express their disappointment and outrage and urged people to vote this coming November. That includes “Scandal” star Kerry Washington, who tweeted Wednesday, “Daniel Cameron is on Donald Trump’s short list as replacement of #RGB on the Supreme Court.” She added, “The same man who decided to not charge the officers responsible for killing #BreonnaTaylor. Vote.”
“Grown-ish” star and activist Yara Shahidi also expressed her feelings on the decision tweeting, “What is most insulting is that the recommended charges aren’t even in response to the MURDER of Breonna Taylor, but to the POTENTIAL injury of other people in the apartment…..” The actress followed up that post with another tweet saying,”‘ No knock warrants’ feels analogous to the experience of being Black in America … The unsolicited intrusion of racism and violence dealt with on a daily basis.”
NBA star LeBron James, who has used his platform extensively to bring awareness to Black and brown people’s injustices in America, launched a series of tweets following Wednesday’s news.
“I’ve been lost for words today! I’m devastated, hurt, sad, mad! We want Justice for Breonna yet justice was met for her neighbors apartment walls and not her beautiful life. Was I surprised at the verdict. Absolutely not but damnit I was & still am hurt and heavy hearted! I send my love to Breonna mother, family and friends! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!!” James wrote on Twitter.
He continued, “The most DISRESPECTED person on earth is THE BLACK WOMAN! I promise you I’ll do my best to change this as much as I can and even more!! LOVE to you QUEENS all over this country and beyond!”
Check out some of the other reactions from other celebrities.