The mother of Breonna Taylor wrote an open letter to President-elect Joe Biden calling on him to make criminal justice reforms and to open federal investigations into several high-profile police-involved deaths.
“For many Americans, a vote for you was a vote for Breonna, Jacob Blake, Casey Goodson and so many others who have been failed repeatedly by the criminal justice system under the current administration,” Tamika Palmer wrote. “These victims could not vote for you – so millions of us did so on their behalf.”
The letter was a full-page ad in the Washington Post Tuesday, and was reportedly paid for by the Grassroots Law Project.
Palmer’s daughter was killed in March when Louisville police fired dozens of rounds into her apartment in an early morning warrant search.
Shaun King, co-founder and Executive Director of Grassroots Law Project, shared an image of the open letter, saying Palmer “not only calls on Biden to prosecute the officers who murdered Breonna, but to bring about the change & justice he promised her.”
An open letter to @JoeBiden was published today as a full-color ad in the @WashingtonPost from Tamika Palmer - mother of Breonna Taylor.— Shaun King (@shaunking) December 15, 2020
Here she not only calls on Biden to prosecute the officers who murdered Breonna, but to bring about the change & justice he promised her. pic.twitter.com/Ga71UkSvUI
“Actions speak louder than words. We need your actions to show that you are different than those who pay lip service to our losses while doing nothing to show that our loved ones’ lives mattered,” Palmer writes.
She then lists “promises” she asks the incoming Biden administration to keep. Including appointing people at the DOJ with a “proven record of holding police accountable,” “ordering large scale federal investigations into cases of police brutality” as in the deaths of Blake, Goodson and Taylor, and investigations into police departments “known to cause harm.”
Palmer writes that a call from Biden earlier this year inspired her and gave her “hope during a very dark time.”
“We fought for you. It is now your turn to fight for us,” Palmer concludes her letter.
Back in March, officers had a warrant to search Taylor’s apartment as part of a drug investigation into Taylor’s former boyfriend, who did not live there.
Taylor was an emergency medical worker in Louisville. She and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep at the time officers entered their home. Walker has said he believed someone was breaking in, and he opened fire, hitting an officer in the leg.
Walker briefly faced attempted murder charges, but they were dropped.
A search of Taylor’s apartment found no drugs.
The shooting and officers’ actions that morning were the subject of a grand jury investigation. The grand jury recommended wanton endangerment charges for one of the three officers involved based on shots fired into a neighbor’s apartment.
The City of Louisville settled a lawsuit from Palmer over her daughter’s death for $12 million and agreed to several police reforms.