She was sleeping, peacefully in her home. Woken up in the middle of the night by gunfire that stole her precious life -- and that too, without justice.
Her name was Breonna Taylor.
This past week, protests have erupted and the world yet again collectively mourns the lack of justice carried out for Black lives.
It’s been over six months since police broke open Breonna Taylor's front door and fatally shot the 26-year-old EMT in her home in Louisville, Kentucky.
Last week, “a grand jury indicted former detective Brett Hankison on three charges of first-degree wanton endangerment for allegedly firing blindly into the apartment and endangering neighbors.”
It was announced this week that the grand jury recordings will be released by the Kentucky court, after a juror filed a motion to make the records public, due to the immense public interest in the case.
The juror alleged that Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron had misrepresented the case during deliberations.
An attorney for the juror said that Cameron "misrepresented" the deliberations and "failed to offer the panel the option of indicting the two officers who fatally shot the young woman."
While we await the release of these findings, it is imperative that even in a year composed of repeated blows, we do not take our eyes off her story.
There are many tragedies, many things that require our compassion, our empathy, and our grief. But far too often, it is the lives of Black people, and in particular, Black women, who are forgotten in our fights for justice.
The outcome of Breonna's case has sparked outrage across the globe, as many attempt to wrap their heads around the fact that only one of three officers were charged, and that too for firing into the apartments, and not for homicide -- not for taking the life of an innocent Black woman.
Protests in Louisville, and in many other parts of the United States have continued, as activists on the ground push for justice for Breonna Taylor, and even if we don't see those protests on the local news here in Canada, or wherever else you may find yourself -- doesn't mean the fight is over.
This year has been defined by a collective grief that has felt relentless, especially when it comes to the loss of Black lives, particularly in a world that feels like it's only just waking up to the repeated, and almost routine nature of this violence.
And while the news cycle may have changed, and other stories of injustice continue alongside this one, we cannot afford to forget about her.
Breonna Taylor’s life mattered, and the broken system that enables the degradation of Black life persists, whether or not we are watching.
Which is why we can’t afford to look away.
Her name, her image, and her likeness were used heavily during the Black Lives Matter protests earlier this year. Yet through it all, she was deprived of justice, even though she shouldn’t have been robbed of her life in the first place.
Black Lives still matter -- even when the cameras are off, and even when no one is watching.
What do we do when the news cycle changes? We keep fighting.