Breonna Taylor Billboard Vandalized In Louisville
Acts like this are just one reason why folks are going to #OccupyKentucky on August 25.
August 07, 2020 at 3:47 pm
Update (August 18, 2020): The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that billboards erected in Louisville in honor of Breonna Taylor have been vandalized with red paint.
Through her magazine, Oprah Winfrey put up 26 billboards around the city with Taylor’s face on them calling for justice in her case, which continues to spawn protests and demands for change.
The billboards use the same portrait of Taylor that appeared on the magazine’s cover. They call for the three officers involved in shooting Taylor to be brought to justice.
However, on Tuesday morning, residents of the Irish Hill neighborhood said the billboard near them was splattered with red paint, according to the Courier-Journal.
Journalists with local news outlet WAVE 3 News said people began to call the company in charge of the billboard hoping for it to be replaced. By 1 p.m. on Tuesday, the red paint had been removed, according to a crew from the outlet that drove by it.
Activists Tamika Mallory denounced the act on Tuesday while encouraging folks to show up to an August 25 rally being hosted by Until Freedom to demand justice for Taylor.
Trigger warning: This post might be disturbing to some readers.
"On Tuesday, August 25, I need you all to stand with us in Louisville if you can," the activist wrote. "We must confront the mindset in this picture. It’s flowing from the top to the bottom. We are stronger together!"
On September 5, the armed Black militia group, the Not F**king Around Coalition, will be holding a demonstration in Taylor's honor as well, according to Newsweek.
Original story (August 7, 2020): Oprah Winfrey is using her high-profile stature to make an imprint in the case of Breonna Taylor, the Louisville woman who was killed by police in her home in March. According to WLKY, the media mogul is erecting 26 billboards in Louisville featuring the name and image of the 26-year-old EMS worker.
The billboards, which started going up on Thursday, include a call to "Demand that the police involved in killing Breonna Taylor be arrested and charged."
They also direct viewers to head to UntilFreedom.com.
26 billboards, one for every year of #BreonnaTaylor's life, are going up in Louisville, Kentucky. Paid for by Oprah Winfrey's magazine, the message on them calls for arrests in her case: https://t.co/xJFKluUoBE pic.twitter.com/AlWdyojBLb— HLN (@HLNTV) August 7, 2020
The aforementioned website belongs to a national social justice organization that recently organized a rally outside the home of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, resulting in the arrest of more than 80 demonstrators, as Blavity previously reported. Additionally, the billboards feature a quote from Winfrey, saying "If you turn a blind eye to racism, you become an accomplice to it."
The entrepreneur kicked off the first part of her call for justice last week when she dedicated the cover of O Magazine to Taylor, making it the first time that someone beside Winfrey has graced the cover. The same cover image, featuring an illustration of the slain young woman, will be displayed on the billboards.
The TV host posted the portrait of Taylor on Instagram.
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Breonna Taylor. She was just like me. She was just like you. And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter. I think about Breonna Taylor often. Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem. What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice. And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of @oprahmagazine. The September issue honors her life and the life of every other Black woman whose life has been taken too soon. Head to OprahMag.com for more—and thank you to @alexis_art, a 24-year-old digital artist, who captured the essence of Breonna. The issue will be available wherever you buy or download magazines on 8/11.
"Breonna Taylor. She was just like me. She was just like you. And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter," Winfrey wrote on Instagram. "I think about Breonna Taylor often. Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem."
The O Magazine publisher was referring to Kenneth Walker, who tried to protect his girlfriend by firing back at the intruding officers.
In a letter posted to OprahMag.com, Winfrey wrote about the Louisville woman's interests.
"Breonna Taylor loved cars and treated her 2019 Dodge Charger like a trusted friend," the TV host wrote. "Breonna Taylor loved chicken any way you could cook it. Breonna Taylor put hot sauce on everything, especially eggs. Breonna Taylor appreciated every kind of music and the dances that went along."
The author also described Taylor's unbreakable bond with her loved ones and the goals she had set.
"Breonna Taylor treated all her friends like besties. Breonna Taylor was a force in the life of her 20-year-old sister," Winfrey wrote. "Breonna Taylor felt meaning and purpose in her work as an emergency room technician. Breonna Taylor was saving to buy a house."
The 66-year-old continued to discuss race relations on Thursday during her Apple TV+ series, The Oprah Conversation, USA Today reported. Inviting author Ibram X. Kendi to discuss his book, How to Be an Antiracist, Winfrey focused on the case of Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old Black woman who was found hanging in her jail cell shortly after she was arrested in 2015.
The talk show host said it's her fame that protects her from facing the same fate as Bland, who was detained after a routine traffic stop.
"I now get to live under this veil of celebrity, so that when I’m stopped or I’m seen, everybody automatically knows who I am. But the days before my name was known throughout many households, that could have been me," Winfrey said. "It was a turn signal. It was a turn signal, and she ends up dead several days later.”