The family of slain Louisville, Kentucky EMT Breonna Taylor has set up a foundation in her name to keep her legacy alive and to support causes the 26-year-old cared about, such as youth programs and scholarships for students pursuing careers in health care.
The foundation is still in the early stages of development, but was inspired by a GoFundMe page, which was launched by her aunt, Bianca Austin, in the spring. It raised over $6 million to develop ways to turn their protest and frustrations into action by giving back to the community.
"She didn't have a bad bone in her body like she was really all about just making sure people around her were happy and that they had the things that they needed," Austin said WHAS11 about her niece.
Though it is still in its infancy, Austin said that The Breonna Taylor Foundation is working with local groups to get people to the polls by offering shuttle services and is encouraging people to get out and vote.
"We need real judicial change and the only way we're going to do that is take our protesting to the polls," Austin said. "Your vote does matter because if it didn't matter they wouldn't have been trying so hard to take it away from us; just vote because Breonna is not here to vote."
In September, Taylor’s estate was awarded $12 million by the city in damages. The mayor also announced sweeping police reform.
In documentation previously obtained by the Louisville Courier-Journal, police were authorized to carry out a “no-knock” warrant on Taylor’s Louisville home on March 13 as part of a narcotics investigation of a person who lived in a home 10 miles away. Neither Taylor nor her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were the investigation's target. Police had suspected, though, that Taylor’s home was used to receive drugs.
Authorities said they identified themselves, despite the “no-knock” warrant. Police said the officers were “immediately” met by gunfire when they entered Taylor and Walker's home, at which point they returned fire.
Walker called 911 during the ordeal and he was informed he'd shot an officer. He was initially charged with attempted murder, but his charges were later dropped after he said he shot in self-defense thinking he and Taylor were victims of a home invasion.
In the wake of Taylor's death, the city has banned "no-knock" warrants.
In June, Officer Brett Hankison was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department. He has also been charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for bullets that hit an apartment of one of Taylor’s neighbors. He is currently contesting his termination and has pleaded not guilty. Officers Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove whose bullets hit Taylor have not been charged. Kentucky’s attorney general has stated that their use of force was justified because Walker fired first.