'I don't think they care what happened to this black woman': Breonna Taylor's aunts wait for justice

Produced by: Sophie Alexander

Main Street West and Eleven. Magnolia Avenue and Seventh Street.

Bianca Austin and Tahasha Holloway can reel off the addresses where the face of their beloved niece has been painted on murals throughout Louisville.

Breonna Taylor was a paramedic.

On March 13 this year, she was shot multiple times by police officers who broke into her home as part of a drugs investigation.

No drugs were found in her apartment. One of the officers involved has been fired and no one is facing criminal charges.

The events which led to Breonna’s death are disputed, and they are now the subject of an FBI investigation.

Her aunts hold on to some hope for justice, but they don’t expect any.

They condemn a criminal justice system for its corruption, its incompetence and its racism.

"They didn’t care what happened to this black woman," Tahasha says.

"To this black person. To this black body. To this black life."

Bianca wipes away the tears which came when she spoke of her memories of the night Breonna was killed.

She was, she says simply, "just a real good kid".

Then she tells me a heartbreaking story about her seven-year-old son, who used to want to be a police officer.

If they went past a patrol while they were out driving, the boy would get his mum to hoot the horn so that the officers would wave at him.

"He don’t do that no more," she says.

"Now he sees them and asks ‘were they the ones who shot Breonna?'"Breonna’s mother, Tamika, joins us.

All three women work in healthcare and our conversation moves on to the unspoken ways in which racism defines their everyday lives.

From how they wear their hair, to the care they have to take when voicing frustration at work, lest they come across as "angry" or "aggressive" to their white colleagues.

I feel like I’m making a connection with Breonna’s loved ones - we even laugh about the sparkly sliders they are wearing in her memory, and where I might get a pair. And then Bianca brings me up short.

“Let’s be honest,” she says.

“You and me are in two different worlds. You don’t have to worry about your kids being lynched.

"You don’t have to worry about being judged because of the colour of your skin. We’re tired of fighting.”

Real equality means so many things will have to change.

The women who loved Breonna Taylor would like to start with equality before the law.

  • Bishop Dennis Lyons, of Louisville Gospel Church, explains how Breonna’s shooting sparked a sense of outrage which links all the way back to slavery