Charles Trepany, USA TODAY
Published 8:32 p.m. ET Sept. 23, 2020
Tourists are flocking to Nashville to see a new mural of Dolly Parton that celebrates her position on Black Lives Matter. Artist Kim Radford included the quote in her painting after reading about it in a Billboard article. (August 21)
Celebrities are speaking out following a grand jury’s decision regarding the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.
On Wednesday, Brett Hankison, a former Louisville, Kentucky, police detective, was indicted on felony charges of wanton endangerment for shooting into an apartment next door to Taylor. The two other officers involved in the shooting, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, were justified in their use of force, state Attorney General Daniel Cameron said at a news conference.
Viola Davis wrote on Twitter that the grand jury only indicting one of the officers, and on a lesser charge, was a “bulls— decision.”
“BLACK LIVES MATTER!!!” the actress continued. “Cannot be said enough times.”
Kerry Washington criticized the Kentucky AG and emphasized the importance of voting.
“Daniel Cameron is on Donald Trump’s short list as replacement of #RGB on the Supreme Court,” she wrote on Twitter. “The same man who decided to not charge the officers responsible for killing #BreonnaTaylor. Vote.”
Alicia Keys tweeted that the news was infuriating.
“This is is a PRIME example of Rotten to the CORE!!!” she wrote. “UnJust!!!! Disrespectful and BLATANT DISREGARD!!!! Infuriated!!!!!!!”
In an interview with the Associated Press, Queen Latifah said that it was a “very complicated situation.”
“But it ain’t right and enough already,” she continued. “Enough already. It’s time for some people to go to jail.”
Latifah also told the AP that everyone should register to vote.
“Vote early, go hard, we got to go hard,” she added. “This is not a year to take it easy, because no one has taken it easy on us, you know. And there’s no reason that young woman should not be walking around today; there’s no reason her mom should be burying her child.”
Comedian W. Kamau Bell also decried the decision on Twitter, saying that it showed that “property is worth more than a Black woman.”
“Brett Hankison is indicted for shooting into the apartment NEXT to Breonna Taylor & not for KILLING HER,” he wrote. “He’s fired for shooting into BREONNA TAYLOR’S apartment & not for KILLING HER. This is systemic racism.”
Kentucky native George Clooney slammed the decision in a statement to USA TODAY, saying the indictment does not reflect his values.
“I was born and raised in Kentucky,” he said. “Cut tobacco on the farms of Kentucky. Both my parents and my sister live in Kentucky. I own a home in Kentucky, and I was there last month. The justice system I was raised to believe in holds people responsible for their actions.”
He continued: “Her name was Breonna Taylor and she was shot to death in her bed by 3 white police officers, who will not be charged with any crime for her death. I know the community. I know the commonwealth. And I was taught in the schools and churches of Kentucky what is right and what is wrong. I’m ashamed of this decision.”
Writer-director Aaron Sorkin said in an interview with the AP that he expects the decision to provoke outrage.
“Of course people are going to get on the street and they’re going to show you their pain, they’re going to show you their anger,” he said. “And you have to meet that by listening. You cannot meet that by pushing back with what are essentially baseball bats and poison that you’re spraying in people’s eyes and noses. But that is what will happen.”
Contributing: Louisville Courier Journal
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