Celebs, long vocal about Breonna Taylor case, decry decision
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — For months, actors, sports stars, musicians and other celebrities have been using their platforms to call for justice in the police shooting death of Breonna Taylor, including at Sunday’s Emmy Awards. Her picture was used on the cover of O:The Oprah Magazine this year and even Beyoncé sent a letter to the Kentucky Attorney General asking for justice.
After a grand jury on Wednesday indicted one of the Kentucky police officers on criminal charges, but not for her death, many celebrities and sports stars decried the decision.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron referenced the calls from stars and their likely reaction during his remarks, and urged people to keep protests peaceful.
“There will be celebrities, influencers and activists who having never lived in Kentucky will try to tell us how to feel, suggesting they understand the facts of this case, that they know our community and the Commonwealth better than we do, but they don’t,” Cameron said. “Let’s not give in to their attempts to influence our thinking or capture our emotions.”
Here are how some stars and athletes reacted to the decision.
“It’s a very complicated situation. But it ain’t right and enough already. Enough already. It’s time for some people to go to jail.” - Queen Latifah, recording artist and actor, in an interview with The Associated Press.
“I was born and raised in Kentucky. Cut tobacco on the farms of Kentucky. Both my parents and my sister live in Kentucky. I own a home in Kentucky, and I was there last month. The justice system I was raised to believe in holds people responsible for their actions. Her name was Breonna Taylor and she was shot to death ... by 3 white police officers, who will not be charged with any crime for her death. I know the community. I know the commonwealth. And I was taught in the schools and churches of Kentucky what is right and what is wrong. I’m ashamed of this decision.” — George Clooney, in a statement, referencing Cameron’s comments about celebrities.
“I don’t have many words right now.... but all I can say is I’m praying for the city of Louisville right now!!!” – Donovan Mitchell, NBA player, former Louisville Cardinals player, via Twitter.
“No amount of money has ever brought a life back. Ask yourself ‘Why so long for Breonna Taylor?’” - Stevie Wonder, in a video message.
“The white supremacist institution of policing that stole Breonna Taylor’s life from us must be abolished for the safety and well being of our people. #BreonnaTaylor #SayHerName #AbolishThePolice.” - Colin Kaepernick, via Twitter.
“It’s all kind of numbing. On one hand it’s like I KNOW I’m not crazy there’s a real problem in our country. On the other I’m sad that everyone doesn’t see it and some don’t want to. Of course I know God is at work. It’s just tough to process it all. #BreonnaTaylor” — Lecrae, recording artist, via Twitter.
“‘To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a state of rage almost all of the time.’ James Baldwin. #BreonnaTaylor” — recording artist and actor Common, via Twitter.
“Daniel Cameron is on Donald Trump’s short list as replacement of #RGB on the Supreme Court. The same man who decided to not charge the officers responsible for killing #BreonnaTaylor. Vote.” — Kerry Washington, actor, referring to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, via Twitter.
“This is is a PRIME example of Rotten to the CORE!!! UnJust!!!! Disrespectful and BLATANT DISREGARD!!!! Infuriated!!!!!!!” - Alicia Keys, recording artist, via Twitter.
“Everyone needs to register to vote. Vote early, go hard, we got to go hard. This is not a year to take it easy, because no one has taken it easy on us. You know, and there’s no reason that young woman should not be walking around today, there’s no reason her mom should be burying her child.” — Queen Latifah, in an AP interview.
“I don’t pretend to be an expert in the law, an expert in the legal system of every state. What I do know, what I do understand is whatever the law, whatever is protecting (the police) in this case and many other cases is hard to comprehend, hard to understand. If this is the protections they have, we have a real problem. There was an anticipation that this was not going to go down the way it should have. That’s been proven with the news we got today.” — Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce, in a media call on Wednesday.
“My heart is broken for the family of Breonna Taylor. once again we’re left with nothing that they try to make seem as something” - Ella Mai, recording artist, via Twitter.
″“Of course people are going to get on the street and they’re going to show you their pain, they’re going to show you their anger. And you have to meet that by listening. You cannot meet that by pushing back with, what are essentially baseball bats and poison that you’re spraying in people’s eyes and noses. But that is what will happen.” — writer-director Aaron Sorkin in an AP interview.
“It’s really disappointing because justice should be served for her death, Breonna Taylor, and this movement in general, Black Lives Matter, and understanding the neglect of not only Black people but colored people in general. The injustices and the police brutality and the systematic racism and everything of that nature. It’s bigger than just sports or politics or the color of your skin. It’s about how you treat people.” — Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins, via press conference.
“Brett Hankison is indicted for shooting into the apartment NEXT to Breonna Taylor & not for KILLING HER. He’s fired for shooting into BREONNA TAYLOR’S apartment & not for KILLING HER. This is systemic racism. Property is worth more than a Black woman.” — W. Kamau Bell, comedian, TV host, via Twitter.
“This is why police need to be defunded and ultimately abolished! We time and time again hope for a sliver of justice but why would we get that when the system is designed to protect the very folks that are murdering and terrorizing us. This isn’t a bad apple, it’s a rotten tree.” — Layshia Clarendon, WNBA player for the New York Liberty, via Twitter.
“Bulls--- decision!!! BLACK LIVES MATTER!!! Cannot be said enough times.” — Viola Davis, actor, via Twitter.
Associated Press Writers Jamia Pugh in Los Angeles, Paul Newberry in Atlanta and AP freelance reporter Adam Zielonka in Ashburn, Virginia contributed to this report.