Breonna Taylor's aunt shared her family's gratitude for the outpouring of support they have received since setting up a GoFundMe in the wake of the death of 26-year-old Kentucky EMT, who killed while sleeping when police in March shot through her Louisville apartment.
Bianca Austin said that the crowd-sourcing page was set up to help pay for expenses that have burdened her sister and niece. “The community has been reaching out in support of Bree’s family and wanting to donate to the cause. First off, we are SO THANKFUL for EVERYONE standing up for justice and saying her name! We’re not stopping until we truly get justice! All of you are such a blessing! It’s amazing!
“Second of all, we are thankful for the offers for donations. My sister and niece are too proud to say it, but this is a tough fight and it does take a toll. They’re both hard workers and they’re missing out on some work (and sleep!) in this fight for justice,” she wrote.
Austin called the support and supporters “a blessing,” and added “We do not expect anyone to donate to this cause; your voices are being heard and that alone is so powerful!”
The family is looking to raise $500,000 by Friday, which would have been Taylor's 27th birthday.
Taylor was killed after police opened fire on her apartment while she was sleeping. Her death was one of several high profile slayings of black Americans in recent months which has sparked outrage across the country.
On Monday, Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, met with Kentucky Mayor Andy Beshear and urged for calm and peaceful protests amidst a weekend of chaos in the city.
"We can't get justice with violence," she said as she spoke inside the Kentucky Supreme Court. "It doesn't make sense. It doesn't help." Over the weekend, a black man was fatally shot while police tried to disperse a crowd amidst the protests. The death led to more anger and rage within a city that is already deeply wounded.
The governor has requested that Louisville Metro Police and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer release video as quickly as possible of the fatal shooting of David McAtee, who was killed just after midnight Monday in a parking lot.
Cops and Kentucky National Guard troops opened fire when they were breaking up a large group and someone fired a shot at them, said LMPD Chief Steve Conrad.
Kentucky State Police troopers were not involved in the shooting, so Beshear is calling upon them to handle the investigation and not the city’s police department.
"The group that is on the ground from the Kentucky State Police is the group that investigates shootings and other police units across the state," he said. "They are the independent group that does this."
On March 13, Police obtained a no-knock warrant before using 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.
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.