Tamika Palmer, Breonna Taylor’s Mother:
Am an Angry Black Woman

| revcom.us


At a press conference in Louisville on Friday, September 25, a letter from Tamika Palmer, Breonna Taylor’s mother, was read by Bianca Austin, Tamika’s sister and Breonna’s aunt. Austin wore the emergency medical technician jacket that Breonna had worn. The following is a transcript of the letter that was read.

I never had faith in [Kentucky attorney general] Daniel Cameron to begin with. I knew he was too inexperienced to deal with the job of this caliber. I knew he had already chosen to be on the wrong side of the law. The moment he went into the grand jury to make the decision, what I had hoped was that he knew he had the power to do the right thing, that he had the power to start the healing of the city, that he had the power to help mend over 400 years of oppression. What he helped me realize was that it will always be “us against them”—that we are never safe when it comes to them. Mattingly [one of the cops involved in the murder of Breonna Taylor], in an e-mail, called us “animals” and “thugs.” It’s clear that that is the way they will always see us.

I was reassured Wednesday [when Cameron made the announcement that no cops are charged with the killing of Breonna] of why I have no faith in the legal system and the police and the law that are not made to protect us Black and brown people. But when I speak on it, I’m considered an “angry Black woman.” But know this. I am an angry Black woman. I am not angry for the reasons that you would like me to be, but angry because our Black women keep dying at the hands of police officers and Black men. Angry because our children are dying at the hands of police officers. And I’m angry, because this nation is learning that our Black women are dying at the hands of police officers, and this is not okay.

You can take the dog out of the fight, but you can’t take the fight out of the dog. For a lack of better terms, bark, bark for being the dog still standing to fight. I knew Cameron would never do his job, but what I do know is that him and countless others will go to bed sleeping with Breonna’s face, still hearing her say her name. Cameron alone didn’t fail her, but it ended with a lack of investigation failed her. The officer who told a lie to obtain the search warrant failed her. The judge who signed the search warrant failed her. The terrorists who broke down her door failed her. The system as a whole has failed her. You didn’t just rob me of my family, you robbed the world of a queen. A queen willing to do a job that most of us could never stomach to do, a queen willing to build up anyone around her, a queen who was starting to pave her path.

I hope you never have to know the pain of knowing your child is in need of help and you’re not able to give it. I hope you never hear the sounds of seeing someone cry and beg for your child to get help, and she never receives help. Those cries were ignored. I hope you never know the pain of your child being murdered 191 days in a row.

Breonna Taylor and Tamika Palmer



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