Dear campus community:
The decision by Daniel Cameron, the Attorney General of Kentucky, to charge only one of the three officers who killed Ms. Breonna Taylor while executing a late-night no-knock warrant as she slept peacefully in her own home has caused excruciating pain for Breonna’s family and the community. The decision is a stark reminder that acts of violence against Black Lives are considered acceptable actions for which there will be no accountability.
One officer was charged on an indictment of wanton endangerment in the first degree. The Movement for Black Lives is quoted as saying:
Even though three officers have Breonna’s blood on their hands, only one was charged, and with three counts of first degree wanton endangerment, a class D felony implying a low-level of responsibility for the death or injury…connected to shooting into the neighboring apartment unit, but not the murder of Breonna Taylor. To be sure, a wall–an inanimate object–has received more justice than Breonna Taylor…
This unjust decision is one of many examples of the systemic injustices faced by Black Americans throughout our history: injustices that sparked the many months of protests against racism and police brutality that have shaken the United States since May 2020 when video recordings of a police officer killing George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes were released through social media.
Breonna Taylor’s life mattered like the lives of Ahmaud Arbery, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, and countless others mattered. It is unconscionable that no one will be held accountable for her death. These injustices demonstrate that the fight for systemic change must continue. The fight for justice must continue. The fight for accountability must continue. The fight to build a country where all Black people can live without fear of unjustified harm from the police must continue. The fight to change America must continue. We cannot give up. We shall not give up.
The Division of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion will host a dialogue tonight, moderated by ‘Bunmi Aina and Alex Leffers, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time through a webinar, https://gallaudet.zoom.us/j/86989547372, for members of the University and Clerc Center community to come together, grieve, dream, and share their visions for moving forward to a better world where Black Lives Matter. The Clerc Center will be announcing separate events tailored to younger students.
Again, we strive to make Gallaudet a better place for all students, faculty, staff, and particularly BIPOC individuals.
Elizabeth A. Moore, Ph.D.
Interim Chief Diversity Officer