Breonna Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, was removed from a Louisville, Kentucky, courtroom on Thursday where ex-Louisville Metro Police Department officer Brett Hankison is currently on trial facing criminal charges. Palmer was allegedly removed from the courtroom because she wore a jacket bearing the face of her late daughter on the front.
According to the Louisville Courier Journal, Taylor's younger sister, Juniyah Palmer, said she and her mother were told by one of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office deputies that her jacket "isn't going to work."
Juniyah wore a letterman-style black and red jacket to the courthouse. The coat was accessorized with Taylor's face on the front and back with the letter "B" and the date March 13, 2020, on the sleeve of the jacket to signify the date of her death.
Circuit Court Judge Ann Bailey Smith's staff attorney released a statement on the situation, saying, "Standard 'dress code' for spectators in the courtroom is that no one should wear any attire or display any object that is so inherently prejudicial that it would deprive the defendant of a fair trial."
The statement goes on to say that any clothing that "prominently displays sympathy for either side in a trial may prejudice the jury, or appear to do so, and it could result in a mistrial or an appellate court's reversal of the jury's ultimate decision."
The deputy allegedly shared a similar message with another woman attending the trial.
"He asked the one woman wearing a Breonna tee to cover it; after she responded with foul language, he said that he asked her to leave," the statement from Smith's staff read.
Juniyah responded to her and her mother's removal by calling on her social media followers to join her in protest and wear their items of clothing with her sister's face on it to the courthouse, The Louisville Courier Journal reports. The two both returned to the courthouse on Friday without any reported problems.
"There is no reason we can't wear anything pertaining to her if y'all keep preaching this trial isn't about her," she wrote.
Hankison is facing criminal charges of wanton endangerment stemming from the night Taylor was killed during the police raid. His charges, however, are not in relation to her death.
Hankison is on trial after several rounds from his gun allegedly went into an adjacent apartment next to Taylor's, where three people were living: a man, a pregnant woman and a child. None of the officers involved in Taylor's death have been charged with her death, as Blavity previously reported.