On what would have been Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday, and her family and friends are speaking out about who she was as a person and what she could have gone on to accomplish had she not been killed by police earlier this year.
"She was cool, a cool cat," one of her aunts, Tahasha Holloway, told NPR.
Taylor, known to her family as “Bre,” was an EMT with a big heart. Her mother told Good Morning America Friday that she planned on becoming a nurse and her family tells NPR she was very close with her relatives.
Originally from Michigan, Taylor and her immediate family, as well as some extended family, moved to Kentucky when she was a teenager. In Louisville, they laid their roots and foundations for their future.
Her family says that Taylor did whatever she could to make the world a better place and give back to her community.
She loved her job and working in health care. She took to Facebook last year as her uncle recovered from a stroke, writing, “Working in health care is so rewarding. It makes me feel so happy when I know I've made a difference in someone else's life. I'm so appreciative of all the staff that has helped my uncle throughout this difficult time and those that will continue to make a difference in his life.”
While working as an EMT at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in America, Taylor’s schedule became grueling.
She was getting much-needed sleep when on March 13, police armed with a no-knock warrant used a battering ram to enter Taylor's apartment at around 1 a.m. as part of a narcotics investigation, according to court documents obtained by the Louisville-Courier Journal.
When the stories first broke, it was claimed that Taylor and boyfriend Kenneth Walker were suspects, which her uncle told NPR caused him much ire and heartbreak.
"I probably said more cuss words in that little time than I said throughout my whole life," Tyrone Bell said. "Angry is an understatement."
Because at first she was labeled a suspect, the family had trouble finding funeral providers, but are now grateful her name is sparking movements on social media like #SayHerName and #BirthdayForBreonna, and is part of the peaceful protests around the country.
It was announced last month that the FBI is now investigating the death of Taylor.
Taylor's family has filed a lawsuit against three officers with the department, alleging Taylor and her boyfriend were home in bed and thought they were being burglarized when officers showed up at their home after midnight. Walker allegedly opened fire on cops with his licensed weapon and one officer was shot in the leg, police said. The lawsuit says police then fired more than 20 round into the home “blindly.”
Louisville police claim they knocked on Taylor’s door several times while executing their warrant before entering and identified themselves as police before they were “immediately met by gunfire,” according to Lt. Ted Eidem.
Neighbors of Taylor and Walker, however, said police did not identify themselves, according to the family’s lawsuit. Walker called 911 during the ordeal and police informed him he’d shot an officer.
Neither Taylor nor Walker were the investigation's target. Police had suspected, though, that Taylor’s home was used by another person to receive drugs. Neither Taylor nor Walker had any criminal history and no drugs were located in the home.
Walker, 27, had been charged with assault and attempted murder on a police officer. Walker had previously pleaded not guilty and been released to "home incarceration” before a judge dismissed his case last month.
“I think it is important that the general public put pressure on authorities” as the investigation into Taylor’s case continues, Attorney Lonita Baker, who is representing the Taylor family, told Good Morning America Friday.
Baker said that the Kentucky Attorney General told her that they need three to four more months to complete their investigation.