One of the names at the center of the nationwide protests this week is Breonna Taylor. The 26-year-old African American emergency room technician was killed on March 13 when Louisville police, executing a no-knock search warrant as part of a drug investigation, forcibly entered her apartment and shot her while firing back at her boyfriend, who mistook them for intruders.
In a video released today, University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto said the school is exploring ways to honor the legacy of Taylor, who attended UK in 2011.
“For UK, one name entails a particularly deep sense of sorrow. Breonna Taylor was a student at the University of Kentucky in 2011. She went on to serve as a healthcare provider, caring for those who needed it most. We mourn her loss. We grieve with her family. How do we ensure that her tragic death is not forgotten? How do we do better tomorrow than we have in the past? How do we do better than we are doing today.
I don’t have answers or absolution for America’s original sin, but we must acknowledge that seeds of racism and hate, division, and despair continue to grow and thrive in our midst. Systemic and systematic racism — deeply rooted in our society — has imprisoned and killed people of color in disproportionate numbers for too long. Even as we seek a reinvented and safe normal this fall, we cannot conceptualize safety on our campus strictly as freedom from illness. Safety also must mean freedom from fear.”
You can see President Capilouto’s entire message below.