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Photo: Maritza Zuluaga / AL DIA
Photo: Maritza Zuluaga / AL DIA

Philadelphia protestors take to the streets following underwhelming grand jury ruling in the case of Breonna Taylor

After a grand jury in Kentucky filed charges of ‘wanton endangerment’ on one former Louisville cop, Philadelphia joined the nation once again in marching…

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Breonna Taylor had a bright future as a 26-year old emergency room technician. 

However, that future was erased on March 13, when three plain clothed police officers serving a no-knock search warrant for a narcotics investigation barged into her apartment. After breaking into her home, one of the officers shot Taylor multiple times and she died in the hallway of her apartment. 

Her death, which came to light in the same timeframe of George Floyd’s, led to nationwide protests asking for accountability and justice from the police. 

Last week, on Sept. 16th, Louisville city officials paid Taylor’s family $12 million dollars in restitution and instituted changes to prevent officers from carrying out further tragedies like her’se The agreement was for a wrongful-death lawsuit, which was filed by Breonna’s family. Additionally, the settlement did not require the city to acknowledge any wrongdoing.

A day ahead of the grand jury ruling on Tuesday Sept. 22, Louisville, Kentucky issued a state of emergency “due to the potential for civil unrest,” knowing their ruling was not going to serve any justice on the matter.. 

On Wednesday Sept. 23, the Grand Jury’s decision meant that not one officer was charged in regard to the murder of Breonna Taylor. Out of the three officers involved, one was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment — a class D felony, the lowest of four classes of felony in Kentucky.

The news was devastating, once again proving that systemic racism is heavily rooted in the American justice system. 

In the aftermath of Taylor’s ruling, like in others, protests quickly spread far and wide across the U.S. 

Philadelphia joined Louisville demonstrators in their cry for justice.

Following the ruling, Philadelphia Police Department and city officials were prepared for demonstrations. 

“The City of Philadelphia fully supports the First Amendment rights of our residents, but we also want to ensure that any demonstration activity that happens is done in a safe, lawful manner,” said Mayor Jim Kenney

The protests that occurred were not particularly organized by any party or organization. The word was spread through people who were outraged at the result after months of demanding justice, and not seeing any.

A group gathered in front of Philadelphia City Hall, and marched through the streets of Center City. 

At different times throughout the march, people spoke on the mic, expressing their outrage.

“Every single night I am afraid of death. Because death is always in my face. And for those people that are at home judging? I don’t even wish this kind of fear on your life. To go home at night and have to worry about your life be cut short when you have all the goddamn potential to do something with it,” said one protestor. 

As Malcolm X said: “The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman.” Do Better.

 

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