LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Hundreds of faith leaders across Metro Louisville are calling for justice in the Breonna Taylor case.
They want city and state leaders to meet demands of the Black Lives movement including to fire and prosecute the three Metro Police officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death.
The leaders are also asking for an independent civilian oversight board to investigate police abuses.
Like other parts of the country, the group said a portion of the police budget should be used to benefit black communities.
More than 300 signed the letter representing different faiths and congregations.
Breonna Taylor should be alive today. David McAtee should be alive today. George Floyd, Tony McDade, and Sean Reed should all be alive today. Yet they are all recent victims of police violence against Black people on a list already far too long. Their lives are irreplaceable and they were stolen away. These Black siblings are victims of the racism, white supremacy, and police brutality embedded in the fabric of this country and our city.
These tragic deaths occur in the midst of a pandemic where Black people, only 13 percent of the population, account for 23 percent of COVID-19 deaths, pointing to a larger systemic disregard for Black bodies.
We are 344 Black, White and People of Color representing many faiths and congregations in our city who believe that racism and police brutality is against the will of God.
As faith leaders in Louisville, we call on the Mayor, Metro Council and the Attorney General to heed the calls for justice that have echoed in our streets in these recent days and for decades. We will never have peace without justice, and we call on you to meet the demands of the Movement for Black Lives, Breonna Taylor’s family, and local leaders:
First, to fire, charge and prosecute the three police who killed Breonna Taylor.
Second, to establish an independent civilian oversight board with subpoena power to investigate all cases of alleged police abuses.
Third, to roll back the Fraternal Order of Police’s ability to unduly shield police from criminal prosecution.
Finally, to divest a significant portion of the $190 million police budget and invest those funds in health, education, transportation, housing, food security, and living wage jobs to benefit Black communities.
We call on residents to join in pushing for these demands and ask everyone to contact their Metro Council person at louisvilleky.gov/government/metro-council/email-council-member, the Mayor at firstname.lastname@example.org, and the Attorney General at ag.ky.gov/Contact-Us.
We see the fulfillment of these demands as a first and critical step in a community-driven, comprehensive process of truth telling, justice, and repair for our city and society.