Who Murdered Breonna Taylor? We All Murdered Breonna Taylor

Kevin C. Peterson
4 min readSep 28, 2020
Kevin Peterson, the writer of this opinion essay, is protesting over the police murder of Breonna Taylor during a public rally in Boston, Massachusetts (Associated Press Photo)

The Breonna Taylor ruling last week effectively allowed the police accused of her murder go uncharged for a horrendous crime that should not have ever happened.

The judicial farce was yet another example of bias against black lives that has become commonplace and that reinforces the stark racial divisions that characterize American political and civic culture. This historic racial division began in the poisoned womb of slavery and extends now into the final year of the first term of the Trump administration.

When the ruling was handed down — identifying that only one of the three Louisville police officers would face charges related Taylor’s death — a poignant gasp of incredulity was heard audibly from the national black community.

This was also the same day officials in Louisville unleashed reports attempting to tarnish Taylor’s reputation. The reports implied Taylor associated herself with known perpetrators of street crime. They suggested Taylor aided and abetted thug life. The mudslinging against Taylor also sought to establish her as a person who romantically befriended drug dealers and violent miscreants.

The besmirching of Taylor was the latest blow against her — a person whose life was lost at a young age for crimes she did not commit. Attorney Ben Crump’s call for the release of grand jury records may well reveal a corrupted process that led to aborted justice in this case. In a case where the facts leading to Taylor’s murder seemed obvious to many of us as bystanders, the grand jury’s decision needs more scrutiny and the light of public review.

At the same time, we must ask ourselves who is really responsible for the murder of Breonna Taylor? A resounding answer returns to us: We all killed Breonna Taylor.

The Louiville police offiicers accused of murdering Breonna Taylor were exonerated of the allegations last week. (Photo Credit: Spectrum News).

Yes, we are responsible for Breonna Taylor’s murder. We must all — each American — be held accountable for the society we have created and continue to foster: — As long as police departments across the nation are trained to shoot black people first before asking questions later. In so many accounts witnessed in recent…

Kevin C. Peterson

Kevin Peterson is founder of the New Democracy Coalition and Convener of the Fanueil Hall Race and Reconciliation Project. He is a social and cultural critic.