Oprah Winfrey has stepped up her campaign calling for justice for Breonna Taylor.
In a video released on social media on Monday evening, Winfrey declares “we cannot be silent” and “we have to use whatever megaphone we can to cry for justice.”
The video shows billboards around Louisville which bare Taylor’s name and face.
“The last time I spoke to Breonna Taylor’s mom, Tamika Palmer, she was having a particularly bad day dealing with the loss of her daughter,” begins Winfrey in her narration.
“She told me: ‘I can’t stop seeing her face. Her smile. It’s what I miss most about her. I’m still waiting for her to come through the door.’
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) August 10, 2020
“Everybody who’s lost a loved one knows that feeling,” she continues. “For every mother and father whose child is out in the world right now, imagine getting a call in the middle of the night that your daughter has been shot in her apartment, and then you find out the people who killed her were police officers who should never have been there in the first place.
“What would you want to happen now? Would you be content to hear five months later there is an investigation and that no one has been held accountable for shooting your innocent daughter multiple times and letting her life bleed out?”
Winfrey also said that the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented her from protesting: “If not for the coronavirus, I’d be out in the streets, marching with the Black Lives Matter protesters,” she said. “These 26 billboards, one for every year of Breonna’s life, are my offering, my form of protest.”
Rounding up the the video with a call to action, the talk show presenter added: “We cannot be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we can to cry for justice.”
The 66-year-old media mogul paid for dozens of billboards to be erected around Louisville, Kentucky, where Taylor was killed by policemen in her home in March.
Taylor was a 26-year-old EMT who was killed on March 13 in her home in Louisville, Kentucky, by Louisville Metro Police. She and boyfriend Kenneth Walker were in their own home when police made a late-night raid on the wrong address, looking for someone who had been taken into police custody hours earlier. Taylor was shot eight times. Though one officer was fired months after the incident, none of the officers involved have been arrested or charged.
The billboards feature the same image of Taylor on a yellow backdrop as her magazine cover with the words, “Demand that the police involved in killing Breonna Taylor be arrested and charged. Visit untilfreedom.com.” They also feature a quote from Winfrey, saying, “If you turn a blind eye to racism, you become an accomplice to it.”
Oprah erecting 26 billboards of Breonna Taylor around Louisville https://t.co/zyQqnm2rxY
— WLKY (@WLKY) August 7, 2020
In her column for the magazine, which hits stands Aug. 11, Winfrey writes, “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 O magazine.”
O magazine encourages its readers to sign the Change.Org and Color of Change petitions to demand justice from Kentucky officials. It also urges people to call Kentucky’s attorney general, mayor, governor, and the public integrity unit of the Louisville Metro Police Department to demand the officers involved in Breonna’s death are fired and charged with her killing. Those looking for more information can visit StandWithBre.com. O also encourages people to donate to the Louisville Community Bail Fund to help protesters fighting in Breonna’s name and to continue to use the hashtag #SayHerName to keep her memory alive.
ET has also put together a guide to how to speak out and actively fight for justice for Breonna.
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