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Flint, MI— This Saturday will mark one year since Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by police inside of her home.
Taylor’s death, along with the deaths of many other Black men and women at the hands of police, sparked protests and marches about racism and police brutality across the country in the last year. And they’re not stopping now.
A group of femme-identifying people organized a march to honor Taylor on March 13, starting at at the Black Lives Matter mural near the Soggy Bottom bar, and working their way to the Flint Police Department, and back.
“We’re memorializing somebody that should not be dead,” said Jovan Lynell, one of the organizers of the march. “It’s like an offering to her. There’s so much more I wish I could give her, but this is what I have. This is what I can do.”
Police officers killed Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency technician, last year during a raid on her apartment. The police were investigating two men, one of whom was Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, who were selling drugs at another location.
The police got a warrant to search Taylor’s residence because they believed the men had sent packages to her apartment, but there were no drugs found in her home.
Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he did not hear the police announce themselves, and fired the first shot, hitting Sgt. Mattingly’s leg, after police banged loudly on their door and then knocked it off its hinges. The three officers fired several rounds back, hitting Taylor five times, and then failed to give her medical attention.
Detective Brett Hankinson was charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for the shots fired at Taylor’s next-door neighbors’ apartment, not for those fired at her. Taylor’s boyfriend was initially charged with attempted murder, but on March 8, 2021, the charges were dropped.
Lynell can’t help but think about the fact that as a young Black woman herself, this is something that could happen to her.
“I don’t know how not to feel like that could have been me,” she said. “I don’t wanna date the wrong guy, and then someone shoots me. I’ve learned so many ways I can die just for existing as a Black woman.”
In addition to marching, there will be speakers to talk about the importance of advocating for policy changes that will tackle systemic racism.
“The biggest thing is controlling the narrative, and making sure we’re looking at long lasting change,” Lynell said.
To take part in the march, arrive at the Black Lives Matter mural near the Soggy Bottom bar at 5 p.m. Masks and social distancing are required.