GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Breonna Taylor’s family marched alongside protesters in West Michigan for the first time Friday.
They demanded justice for Taylor, a Grand Rapids native, who was shot and killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky in March.
“She was from here, she was ours,” said Tawanna Gordon, Taylor’s cousin. “She belongs to us. You stole her from us, we’re coming for her.”
In the crowd was Taylor’s stepfather, Leon Brown, who was wearing a blue shirt with pictures of the 26-year-old EMT.
“Breonna was caring, she was very emphatic,” said Gordon. “She loved to take care of people, especially the elderly. She loved pets.”
In March plainclothes police officers burst into Taylor’s apartment while she and her boyfriend were asleep and shot and killed her while conducting a no-knock search warrant in connection to a drug investigation.
Taylor’s boyfriend shot at police, thinking they were intruders, which led to the officer’s return fire.
Police did not find drugs at the home and the three officers involved face no charges three months later.
Thursday, the Louisville Metro Council passed Breonna’s Law, which bans no-knock search warrants.
“They gave us Breonna’s law,” said Gordon. “We are ecstatic for that. That’s progress, but we are still not done.”
“We want those officers arrested and fired, and we want them to have their day in court,” said Gordon. “We want to answer, ‘Why did you do this?’”
“We owe it to her as a city to fight for her and to make sure that justice is served for her and her family,” said Isabel Delgado, organizer of Friday’s march.
Delgado says she organized the march, because as the country keeps protesting police misconduct and racial injustice, she wants people to make sure violence against black women receives attention too.
“It’s just as important as what happened to George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery,” said Delgado. “We have to give the same energy we gave to them for Breonna. She deserves the same exact energy. The marches, the petitions.”
“She was sleeping in her own home,” said Haleigh Echols, a protester. “What we do every night. That was just nonsense so we just need to make sure her name is heard.”
The protest remained peaceful.
“It is something that needs to continue,” said Gordon. “Every person who loses their life, no matter what their color is, to police brutality, should have this kind of attention, because we need to wake up our government.”