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Statement of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President & CEO Marcela Howell
WASHINGTON — Breonna Taylor was killed by police on March 13, 2020, gunned down in a mistaken raid on her home. In remembrance of Breonna Taylor on the first anniversary of her death, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President and CEO Marcela Howell issued the following statement:
“Breonna Taylor was killed in her own bed by police. She was an EMT, who risked her life every day on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it wasn’t COVID-19 that took her life; it was systemic racism and white supremacy. Ms. Taylor was gunned down at home after police kicked in her door looking for someone who didn’t even live in her apartment. The cops who killed her have not been prosecuted for Ms. Taylor’s death.
“One year later, Breonna Taylor’s killing and the failure to prosecute her killers to the fullest extent of the law remind us that, no matter what, Black women are at risk of police violence, systemic racism and white supremacy every single day — at work, in school, on the streets and in our own homes. When we are injured or killed, we cannot count on the criminal justice system to value our lives. For Black women, men and children, justice is repeatedly denied. Police officers who kill unarmed Black people are not held accountable because the system protects them. That must end.
“It’s time to disrupt the systems that promote police violence by protecting offending police officers. It’s time to pass the ‘Ending Qualified Immunity Act,’ to eliminate the legal loophole that prevents victims of police violence and civil rights violations from obtaining relief through civil lawsuits. We know that the criminal justice system will not protect us, so we must, at the very least, have access to the civil justice system to hold abusive police officers accountable.
“Black women are leading the movement to dismantle systemic racism and to stop police violence. Out of respect for Breonna Taylor and all the Black women, men and children killed by police violence, we demand immediate action by Congress. Pass the ‘Ending Qualified Immunity Act’ now.”
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is a national Reproductive Justice organization focused on lifting up the voices of Black women leaders at the national, regional and state levels in our ongoing fight to secure Reproductive Justice for Black women, femmes, queer, trans and gender non-conforming people and youth. Our strategic partners include Black Women for Wellness, Black Women’s Health Imperative, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, SisterLove, Inc., SisterReach, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, The Afiya Center and Women With A Vision.