The mother of Breonna Taylor, Tamika Palmer, recalled the heartbreaking phone call she received on the night her daughter was shot and killed by Louisville police in March. During the protests of racial inequality and police brutality that broke out after George Floyd's killing by Minneapolis police on May 25, Taylor's case also gained national attention. The 26-year-old EMT was killed by officers executing a no-knock warrant in the early morning hours of March 13, and none of the officers involved have been charged yet.
When Taylor was shot, Palmer received a call from Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who was in Taylor's apartment at the time. "He called me and said that somebody kicked in the door and he thinks Breonna was shot and he was yelling for her and I was like, 'Where is she?' And he said he couldn't see," Palmer told Today Show reporter Shenielle Jones. Palmer went on to say she has not stopped mourning her daughter, but during some quiet moments, "it becomes extremely loud in my head. I just never imagined life without her."
Taylor and Walker were asleep in her apartment on March 13 when three officers who were not wearing police uniforms executed a no-knock search warrant linked to a drug investigation. Walker believed they were home invaders and fired first with his licensed handgun. Louisville police said they were fired upon immediately when they entered, reports Today. The officers hit Taylor eight times.
"Breonna wasn't involved in any drug activity, so they had no reason to be at her apartment that night," the family's attorney, Lonita Baker, said. According to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family, the police did not identify themselves as law enforcement when they entered. The family is also calling on the three officers involved - Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detectives Brett Hankinson and Myles Cosgrove - to be arrested and charged.
"Kenny and the seven other neighbors that live there say that nobody heard them announce themselves," Palmer told Today. "They did not announce themselves. Kenny called the police. If you say you're the police, I'm not going to call the police."
The officers have been placed on administrative leave. The officer who issued the no-knock warrant has been put on administrative reassignment. Walker was charged with the attempted murder of a police officer and aggravated assault, although the charges were later dropped. On Thursday, the Louisville City Council approved a city ordinance banning no-knock warrants, and Mayor Greg Fischer said he will sign "Breonna's Law" as soon as it reaches his desk. Palmer hopes Bronna's Law will continue saving lives "forever," just as Taylor did in life. "I knew she was destined for greatness," she told Today. "She's showing it."