Breonna Taylor protesters plan to livestream a hunger strike until Louisville Metro Police officers involved in her March 13 shooting death are fired, they say.
The hunger strike which started Monday at noon, has about 218 participants according to a Facebook group dedicated to the strike called “No Justice, No Feast: Hunger Strike Livestream Launch.”
Representatives from the group spoke Sunday at the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression where they said they will gather in a shared space and abstain from caloric intake until the remaining two officers involved in the shooting death of Taylor are fired and stripped of their pensions, a report says.
“We are a group of concerned citizens demanding the continued firing and removal of pensions of the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers who murdered Breonna Taylor in her home on March 13th of this year. We demand justice for Breonna Taylor and her family!
“In an act of protest and to achieve this goal, we will abstain from all caloric intake beginning July 20th at 12:00 PM and ending when our demands are met. Strike participants restricting all caloric intake will be joined in a safe space and live-streamed on Facebook,” the group posted on Facebook.
The group says that medical staff will regularly monitor them and participants will also have supplements available during the demonstration.
"There is no end to this," group member Ari Maybe told Louisville’s WDRB. "They can’t touch us; they can’t control us. We control our message on social media."
"We are sincere; we are purposeful," Vincent Gonzalez, another participant in the strike, told WDRB. "Through the love of our community, we will win."
In documentation previously obtained by the Louisville Courier-Journal, police were authorized to carry out a “no-knock” warrant on Taylor’s 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 initially 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. Officer Myles Cosgrove and John Mattingly have been reassigned. None of the officers have been arrested or charged in Taylor’s death.