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Activists mark the anniversary of the homicide of Breonna Taylor with requires justice

The year-long anniversary of the police murder of Breonna Taylor was Saturday, and activists, lawmakers and Taylor's family spent renewed calls for criminal justice reform.

In Louisville, Kentucky, members of Taylor's family and community activists rallied to celebrate the anniversary of Taylor's death and to hold responsibility for the officials involved in their shooting. Hundreds of demonstrators sang Taylor's name, allegedly shouting, "You can't stop the revolution."

Taylor, a 26-year-old paramedic, was killed in her Louisville home on March 13, 2020 after three white police officers broke into her home as part of a narcotics robbery with a no-knock warrant for a suspect who is no longer on Taylor's Address lived.

Officials opened fire after Taylor's friend – a legal gun owner who said he did not know the people crowding into the apartment were police officers – fired a self-defense shot. Taylor was shot and killed six times.

Taylor became a symbol of the racist and overly violent nature of law enforcement in the United States, along with George Floyd, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer about two months later. Her name and the chant "Say Her Name" sparked screams in protests held in the United States in the summer of 2020, sparking a wider cultural reckoning with racism in American life.

While the city of Louisville reached a $ 12 million settlement with Taylor's family in September 2020, none of the officials involved in the botched robbery were charged with their deaths. Taylor's friend Kenneth Walker initially faced an attempted murder over the shot he fired the night she died, which is believed to have hit an officer in the leg. Those charges were dropped in May 2020, but were not finally dismissed until last Monday.

Taylor's family – and democratic lawmakers – are calling for reform

On Friday, Walker filed a lawsuit against the Louisville city government and police officers in the raid, arguing that his constitutional rights had been violated – and that the warrant for entering the house was based on false claims.

And Breonna Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, has filed a complaint against six Louisville Metro Police Department officers.

"We believe that a thorough investigation into these allegations will reveal the lazy underbelly of a rogue police force and the efforts investigators have made to protect the officers," Palmer's attorney Sam Aguiar told CNN. "And if that is the case, LMPD must show that it is cleaning the house, Tamika Palmer has given the answers she has been owed for a year, and honoring the oaths taken to protect our citizens."

Palmer recently spoke to WLKY, the CBS station in Louisville, and expressed frustration at where things are a year later.

"Not to say that all officials are bad, but there is no accountability," Palmer said. "So, (police) don't feel they need to change their actions or behavior."

Many Democratic lawmakers agreed to Palmer's assessment on Saturday, calling for a police reform to mark the occasion.

New lawmaker Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), who organized Black Lives Matter in and around Ferguson, Missouri, before joining Congress, tweeted, “Today is 365 days of injustice. Breonna Taylor's murder was an injustice. The cover-up that followed was an injustice. "

A black woman was murdered by police in her home in the middle of the night and nothing has fundamentally changed.

That's why we're not going to stop saying her name. That is why we need to legislate in defense of black lives in Congress.

– Cori Bush (@CoriBush) March 13, 2021

And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted, “It's been a year since Breonna Taylor was killed in her home by police who executed a knock-free arrest warrant. Breonna Taylor and her family deserve justice. It is time for a major police reform. We are working to pass the Justice in the Senate Police Act. "

President Joe Biden also advocated the passage of this bill, writing, "As we continue to mourn (Taylor), we must move forward to pass a major police reform in Congress."

Breonna Taylor's death was a tragedy, a blow to her family, her community, and America. As we continue to mourn them, we must move forward to get meaningful police reform through Congress. I continue to strive to include a landmark reform law in the law.

– President Biden (@POTUS) March 13, 2021

The democratically controlled house passed the law on justice in the police for the second time in early March. It contains a number of provisions aimed at reforming the federal police force, ranging from the termination of qualified immunity (a practice that protects police officers from lawsuits). Ban the kind of no-knock drug orders that led to Taylor's death.

When the House passed the bill in 2020, the Republican-controlled Senate refused to pass it and instead advocated a GOP-elaborated plan that proposed limited reforms. Democrats now control the Senate, and leaders like Schumer have signaled optimism about the bill being passed. However, the Democratic caucus would take 10 Republican senators to vote for the Police Justice Act to get to Biden's desk. So far there has been no indication that many Republicans could be ready.

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