PHOTOS: Richmond protest marks one year since Breonna Taylor’s death

Police request protesters move from the streets to the sidewalks as the group marches toward the Richmond Police Headquarters. The group gathered to march in memory of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old emergency room technician who was killed in her sleep by Louisville, Kentucky police officers. Photo by Enza Marcy

Katharine DeRosa, News Editor

Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was shot in her home in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 13, 2020. One year later, Richmonders marched in her honor. 

Taylor, an emergency room technician, was killed in her sleep as Louisville Metro Police raided her home through the use of a “no-knock” search warrant. Three officers, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, Detective Myles Cosgrove and Detective Brett Hankison, fired shots into Taylor’s apartment. Cosgrove and Hankison have been fired. 

A group of Richmond protesters march toward the Richmond Police Department chanting Breonna Taylor’s name. Photo by Enza Marcy

Taylor was with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, when police shot her. No officers were charged with her death.

“I don’t know what’s happening,” Walker said on a recorded call to 911. “Someone kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend.” 

Protesters met in Monroe Park on Saturday and marched to Marcus-David Peters Circle. From there, the group headed east to the Richmond Police Headquarters on West Grace Street, where police officers directed them to get out of the street and onto the sidewalks. 

As a group of protesters chant for Black lives and anti-police brutality, local Richmond business owners stand in front of their restaurant, raising a fist in the air, in solidarity with the march in memory of Breonna Taylor. Photo by Enza Marcy

The request was met by some with a chant of “Whose streets? Our streets.”

A protester, who wished to be referred to as Seven, carried a megaphone and led chants. At the Richmond Police Headquarters, they used the megaphone to make announcements and get the attention of police officers inside the parking garage at the headquarters.

“Children are scared of you,” Seven said. “Black kids are scared of you.” 

Richmond local Bedrock Bee stands behind the parking garage of the Richmond Police Department Headquarters on the night of the one year anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death. Photo by Enza Marcy

VCU issued a public assembly alert for Monroe Park campus, estimating 25 people in attendance at the protest. 

Protesters returned to the fenced Marcus-David Peters Circle later in the night. Police officers arrived and flashed blue lights shortly after the group’s arrival.

Some protesters approached the officers, and others shouted, “Don’t talk to cops.” 

A Richmond local holds a painted portrait of Breonna Taylor in front of the recently fenced Robert E. Lee Monument at Marcus-David Peters Circle on the one year anniversary of Taylor’s death. Photo by Enza Marcy

Deputy Chief Sydney Collier began talking to some protesters and told Seven to come talk to him in his office. People gathered around the conversation — half of which were wearing masks. He declined a reporter’s request to videotape their future meeting.

A protester, who wished to be referred to as Jay, said he was out because Taylor’s killers didn’t get more than “a slap on the wrist.”

“I think that we need to keep the energy up from this summer,” Jay said “This isn’t a time to slow down.”

Jay said he believes people have become complacent due to President Joe Biden’s historical victory in November.

A protester who people referred to as Pop talked to police officers at Marcus-David Peters Circles to discuss police presence. Photo by Enza Marcy

“Everyone thinks that because Trump is gone, that everything’s going to be fixed.” Jay said. “We need to be pushing Biden much further, much harder. We are not going to stop. We can’t stop.”

The crowd began to disperse after police left Marcus-David Peters Circle around 9 p.m. 

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