An image of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old EMT who was killed on March 13, will be featured on the cover of Oprah Winfrey’s “O” magazine for the September issue. It is the first time in the magazine’s 20-year history that Winfrey will not be featured on the cover.
“Breonna Taylor. She was just like me. She was just like you. And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans," Winfrey said in a statement. "Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter. I think about Breonna Taylor often.
“Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem. What I know for sure: We can’t be silent," Winfrey continued. "We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice. And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of @oprahmagazine. The September issue honors her life and the life of every other Black woman whose life has been taken too soon.”
The news of the issue, along with a shot of the cover, was announced Thursday morning. The special issue hits newsstands Aug. 11.
In documentation previously obtained by the Louisville Courier-Journal, police were authorized to carry out a “no-knock” warrant on Taylor’s Louisville, Kentucky, home on March 13 as part of a narcotics investigation on a home ten 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 is currently contesting his termination with legal council. Officer Myles Cosgrove and John Mattingly have been reassigned. None of the officers have been arrested or charged in Taylor’s death.