CHICAGO — The city will hold a moment of silence in remembrance of Breonna Taylor’s life 7 p.m. Wednesday, officials announced.
Chicagoans are urged to come on to their porches or the sidewalk to remember Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman fatally shot by police during a botched raid of her Louisville, Kentucky, home in March. One Louisville officer has been charged with wanton endangerment for shooting into neighbors’ homes during the raid.
“Come out on your front porch. Stand in your yard or on your sidewalk or wherever you are. But please do, at 7 p.m. tonight, take a moment of silence and reflection in her memory,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a press conference Wednesday.
Residents, community leaders, activists and celebrities for months have demanded criminal charges against the officers involved in the raid of Taylor’s home. People across the country were outraged Wednesday when officials announced no officer would face charges for killing Taylor, who was sleeping when she was shot.
Gov. JB Pritzker, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton joined Lightfoot on Wednesday to give their reactions to the decision out of Louisville.
All said they were disappointed police would not be held accountable for the unjustified killing of a young woman in her own home.
“The grand jury’s lesser charge of a single officer does not address the loss of her life, not nearly,” Pritzker said. “This is, to put it simply, a gross miscarriage of justice.”
Lightfoot said the decision just reinforces what protesters have been saying: Black lives are not valued in the eyes of the law.
“Rulings like this one set us back … . But that doesn’t mean we give up,” Lightfoot said. “It means we fight even harder against the systems of inequality and injustice designed to keep too many of us down. We will and we must continue to say her name.”
The killing of Taylor — as well as those of other Black victims of police violence, like George Floyd — led to widespread protests and unrest this summer.
Multiple demonstrations in Chicago are planned Wednesday evening, including one outside Chicago Police headquarters organized by Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Black Lives Matter Chicago and Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation. Another protest is planned at St. Sabina Church in Gresham.
Lightfoot and Chicago Police have responded to previous demonstrations by cutting off access to Downtown. Many have criticized city leaders for raising bridges over the Chicago River, halting CTA trains and buses, closing nearby expressways and implementing mandatory curfews with little advance warning.
Lightfoot said there are no current plans to implement a curfew, shut down the CTA or raise bridges. If city leaders decides to take such actions, residents will be notified through the news media, text alerts and social media, she said.
“If the need arises we will try to, of course, give as much notice as possible,” Lightfoot said. “But we’re mindful of the fact, particularly when it comes to public transit, people are relying on public transit. When we’ve done this before, we’ve tried to give at least an hour if not longer, and we’ll obviously try do to that.”
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