Downtown Greensboro comes together for Breonna Taylor

Following the Sept. 23 decision of the Louisville grand jury to release all but one police officer involved in Breonna Taylor’s murder with no charges, a peaceful march was held in downtown Greensboro on Sept. 24 to honor Taylor’s life and to mourn the lack of justice she recieved.

Beginning at Governmental Plaza and advancing through the streets, around 200 peaceful marchers chanted Breonna Taylor’s name, as well as other Black Lives Matter slogans, to stand for equality. With the Greensboro Police Department blocking off downtown streets to ensure the safety of the marchers, downtown Greensboro came together once again to remember Breonna Taylor’s life, and to demonstrate the need for societal reform to prevent such tragic events as Taylor’s murder from happening again.

On March 13, EMT and aspiring nurse Breonna Taylor, was sleeping in her
apartment next to her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Following a judge’s warrant for a no-knock raid on a narcotics suspicion, Officer Brett Hankinson fired into Taylor’s home without a clear line of sight, killing Taylor, who was unarmed and defenseless.

Though Officer Hankinson was shortly dismissed from the force due to his “extreme indifference to the value of human life,” he was neither arrested nor charged for his actions. The other officers involved in the raid that resulted in Taylor’s murder were not arrested, charged, or dismissed from the force.

While attention was initially drawn to the case through social media, news of her murder swept the nation after police killed George Floyd on May 25. The two events drew mass attention to America’s extensive history with police brutality.

The wildfire from social media surged into streets all over the country, as protests and marches occurred in nearly every major city to fight not only for justice for the families of Floyd and Taylor, but also for the ending of systemic racism and police brutality. Many Guilford students attended local protests and marches in downtown Greensboro.

One of these attendees was Madeline Edwards, an alum of the Early College at Guilford. As an interracial black and white student, she, along with other members of the Guilford community, has taken to social media to speak out on the racial injustice and systemic violence imposed upon people of color.

“I think these protests are incredibly important because it shows people of color that they aren’t alone,” Edwards said. “These large protests show how serious the problem is, and that we cannot be ignored any longer.”

Though the chants resounded loudly throughout these protests, including the most recent one this past Thursday, the silence resonated powerfully among marchers as well. Observing 192 seconds of silence to represent the number of days it took for the city of Louisville, Kentucky, to officially respond to Taylor’s murder by pledging police reforms, masked protesters made their point clear. Although the fight for racial justice is taking strides in terms of recognition and awareness, there is still a long way to go for the political system to make reforms that will finally drive forth the movement for true racial equality.