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March honors Grand Rapids' own Breonna Taylor: "Don't let them forget her name."

Dustin Dwyer
Michigan Radio

Hundreds of people marched through the streets of Grand Rapids once again Friday, but this time it was to honor one of the city’s own.

Breonna Taylor was killed by police officers in Louisville, Kentucky in March, just a few months shy of her 27th birthday. Taylor was in her own room, in the middle of the night, when officers shot her while carrying out a “no knock” warrant looking for someone else.

Earlier this week, Louisville banned “no knock” warrants through legislation now known as “Breonna’s Law.”

Taylor’s life ended in Louisville, but it began in Grand Rapids, where she was born and spent most of her childhood.

Friday, members of her family in Grand Rapids came out for the march.  

“We celebrate Breonna’s Law being passed,” said Taylor’s cousin Erica Eaves.  “But every day I want you to bring up her name. Say her name. Don’t let them forget her name.”

Another cousin, Tawanna Gordon, said the family is still waiting for the officers who killed Taylor to be fired. According to reports in Louisville, three officers are on administrative leave for the shooting, which happened three months ago.

Taylor’s family is suing the Louisville Police Department for wrongful death.

Gordon urged the crowd on Friday to continue to push local police and city leaders for changes in the police department.

“She was from here, she is ours. She belongs to us,” Gordon told the crowd. “You stole her from us, we coming for you.”

Friday’s event was organized on social media by Isabel Delgado. She said she wanted to honor Taylor, and the contributions of all Black women in social justice struggles.

“It should be the norm,” Delgado said, standing in Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids. “We should be fighting for Black women at all possible costs. We cannot forget about black women.”

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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