LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Faith leaders in Louisville are calling on the mayor, Metro Council and state attorney general to meet the demands of the Movement for Black Lives, Breonna Taylor’s family and local leaders.
Taylor was an EMT who was shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police while she slept in her apartment in March during a no-knock search warrant as part of a drug investigation. No drugs were found in the apartment, according to investigators.
Taylor’s death at the hands of police became part of the national uprising calling for an end to racial injustice, police brutality and racism.
The faith leaders say Taylor should be alive today. They say her’s is one on a long list of names of people who are victims of police violence against Black people. They say Taylor and others like her, are victims of the racism, white supremacy, and police brutality embedded in the fabric of America and Louisville.
The faith leaders also pointed to the disproportionate number of Black people dying from COVID-19. Blacks make up 13% of the population, but account for 23% of the coronavirus-related deaths, according to health statistics. The leaders say the disparity points to a larger systemic disregard for Black bodies.
Up to 344 Black, White and People of Color, representing many faiths and congregations in Louisville, say they believe racism and police brutality are against the will of God.
Among the demands of the faith leaders:
-Fire, charge and prosecute the three Louisville Police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor.
-Establish an independent civilian oversight board with subpoena power to investigate all cases of alleged police abuses.
-Roll back the Fraternal Order of Police’s ability to unduly shield police from criminal prosecution.
-Divest a significant portion of the police budget and invest that money in health, education, transportation, housing, food security, and living wage jobs to benefit Black communities.
The faith leaders called on all people in Louisville to push for the demands and to contact their Metro Council representative, the mayor and attorney general.
The leaders say they see the fulfillment of the demands as a first and critical step in a community-driven, comprehensive process of truth telling, justice and repair for the city and society.
To see the list of faith leaders who are part of this interfaith call, click here.