March 13, 2023

Congresswoman Bush Statement on Third Anniversary of Police Killing of Breonna Taylor

Washington, D.C. (Mar. 13, 2023)

— Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) released the following statement in observance of the third anniversary of the police killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky:

"Every day I think of Breonna Taylor. Every day I think of how Breonna Taylor could’ve been my daughter, my sister, my loved one — how Breonna Taylor could’ve been me. And I know I am not alone. Millions of people across our country see themselves in her, and in Tyre Nichols, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, George Floyd and the countless others who’ve been killed by police violence."
"I also think of Breonna Taylor's family daily, and the countless family members who are dealing with the grief and trauma of losing a loved one to racist police brutality. They deserve accountability — not just from the officers involved, but a systemic form of accountability that recognizes these tragedies will keep happening until we fundamentally redefine and transform our approaches to public safety."
"This past Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced their findings from a pattern-or-practice investigation into the Louisville Metro Police Department, and, while the Department of Justice’s findings were not shocking, they were disturbing. What this investigation concluded is what Black people and people with disabilities in Louisville have known for a long time: their policing system unlawfully discriminates against them and harms them with impunity. The Department should pursue a div consent decree, but it should also determine how its funding programs may have benefited this discriminatory system and seriously evaluate Louisville Metro Police Department’s compliance with relevant non-discrimination laws."
"We know the Louisville Metro Police Department is not an anomaly; it is the archetype of a criminal legal system that perpetuates white supremacy and was intentionally designed to crush the freedoms of Black people in our country. If we want to see systemic and effective change, if we genuinely want to prevent more lives from being taken like Breonna’s was, our country must choose to uproot the existing systems that allow Black lives to be taken with impunity. We must redirect our unjustified obsession with carceral approaches to public safety and diligently pursue a holistic model of safety that is rooted in public health strategies and significant investments in communities. The best path forward is an unequivocal, affirmative public safety agenda that prevents trauma and violence–and saves lives."

Last September, Congresswoman Bush introduced the Helping Families Heal Act, first-of-its-kind legislation that would fund mental health resources to support those impacted by police violence.