Lack of arrests in Breonna Taylor’s shooting death prompts hunger strike in Kentucky
Protesters enraged by the lack of arrests in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor have begun a hunger strike in Kentucky, vowing that they will not eat until the officers involved in the deadly incident are charged.
The demonstration kicked off at noon on Monday, with a livestream on their Facebook page, Hunger Strikers for Breonna, now available 24 hours a day. The group of four said they planned to abstain from food until action is taken in killing of 26-year-old Taylor, who was fatally shot in March by police officers inside her Louisville apartment.
“In this form, we can control it,” organizer Ari Maybe told the Courier Journal.
“It’s not like a sit-in, where we can be arrested. It’s not like a protest, where there’s a beginning and an end. We control the beginning, the end and the entire narrative.”
The foursome won’t consume anything but vitamin supplements and can only drink water, green tea and black coffee, according to the newspaper.
Taylor, a Black EMT was asleep in bed with her boyfriend on March 13 when three undercover cops — Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove — burst into her home at around 12:40 a.m. She was shot five times during the botched narcotics raid, which did not turn up any evidence of drugs in the Louisville residence.
Officers were executing at the time a “no-knock” search warrant for a man who did not live in the building and had already been in custody.
Protesters are also calling for Mattingly and Cosgrove to be fired and stripped of their pensions. Hankinson was terminated in wake of the deadly incident, but has since appealed the decision.
Attorneys for Taylor have alleged Hankison, who they suspect fired off at least one of the fatal shots, “blindly” shot inside the EMT’s home from the outside.
The hunger strikers, among thousands of demonstrators nationwide calling for justice in Taylor’s death, have also issued a call for others to join them in their protest. In a post their Facebook page, they invited everyone and anyone to participate in “whatever capacity you can” — whether that means fully fasting or abstaining from something else for an extended period of time.
Their social media page also includes a fundraiser, which has so far raised $992 of its $2,300 goal as of Tuesday morning.