Opinion: Black Lives Still Matter

Breonna Taylor and George Floyd

You’d have to work hard not to have heard these names in the last few months. On March 13, Breonna Taylor, an EMT, was shot and killed when Louisville Metro Police Department officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove entered her apartment unannounced on a no-knock warrant. The officers opened fire, shooting Breonna five times after her boyfriend fired one bullet at who he believed to be a home invader. A little over a week later on March 25, George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill. Both deaths, especially because of their proximity to each other, led to a vocal outcry and a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement which was created in 2013 as a response to the acquittal of the murderer of Trayvon Martin.

However, then and now, the movement seems to only gain public notice for short periods of time. You might have noticed that the news no longer features images of protestors and that your social media timeline no longer calls for you to sign petitions, donate to bail funds, and address biases in yourself and those around you; your news stream has replaced their names with talk of the coronavirus and the November elections. And while this may be the case for you, many others are continuing to grieve hundreds of wrongful killings and call for reform in our criminal justice system.

Regardless of your views on Black Lives Matter, the truth remains that we live in a country where despite being guaranteed innocence until we are proven guilty, hundreds of people are killed by the police without ever seeing a trial. It’s time for change.

Don’t just say their names; take action.

How You Can Help

  • Donate to Black Lives Matter (Donation Page).

  • Connect with your local Black Lives Matter chapter (Chapter Page).

  • Don't have a local chapter? Learn how to start one here.

  • Donate to bail funds to help release protesters. As more and more protesters are being arrested, our rights to protest are being threatened.

  • This Twitter thread contains links to bail funds in a number of cities.

  • This Google Doc of crowdsourced links is constantly growing.

  • Support (or even join) the National Police Accountability Project, which was formed by the National Lawyers' Guild to help victims of police brutality connect with legal counsel.

  • Support Campaign Zero, a project of the nonprofit We The Protesters, which is pushing for legislation to end police violence and hold police accountable.