New Orleans Reacts to the Breonna Taylor Verdict


Malik Jamileh

Protestors gather near South Carrollton to protest the Black injustices in New Orleans, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020.

Malik Jamileh

Breonna Taylor, a Black 26-year-old medical room technician, was killed by the Louisville police department on March 13, with a no-knock warrant in Louisville, Ky. Taylor’s family calls for justice as civil unrest has sparked all around the country including protest here in New Orleans.

Civil unrest is following across the nation as protesters and individuals are speaking out about the recent verdict on the Breonna Taylor case. Protests are emerging here in New Orleans in response to the recent verdict on the Breonna Taylor case, no officers were found guilty of her murder

Joyce Thomas, the founder of Kneeling for 9 Minutes, protests.
Malik Jamileh

Joyce Thomas, the founder of the group Kneeling For Nine Minutes, protests on the corner of South Carrollton inNew Orleans, La, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020.

“We went out to the river one night with our friend to protest. I said to her you wanna do this on a regular basis? So we decided to just bring it down to Carrolton and it started from there,” said Thomas.

Kneeling For 9 Minutes, partnered with Indivisible Nola, strives to partner with people of all backgrounds to kneel for the amount of time cops sat on George Floyd’s neck. The group’s focus is to strive against efforts to demolish our democracy and amplify the voices who need them most, especially the Black community. Many activists failed to comment but their silence was just as loud.

Gina Swanson, a news anchor for WDSU, who is an adjunct ethics professor at Loyola University, shares some of her reactions to the verdict and news emerging from the case.

“ I don’t think I was surprised. I don’t know if any person of color, or particularly any black people, or black women was surprised per se. No matter how much you hashtag and put faces on covers, at the end of the day that is all very performative. It doesn’t change the facts of the case that had to be considered with the grand jury. But at the end of the day I don’t think the reaction was surprising,” says Swanson.

Swanson shares a concern that other individuals have shared concerning the case which revolved around the Wanton endangerment charge. The charge was given based on reckless behavior that resulted in bullets penetrating through neighbors houses, but no one was charged for the actual murder. This sparks a few questions surrounding the case according to Swanson.

“ I don’t think it is always a given. That is something I always try to get my students to consider. There are a lot of people who feel the right decision was made. Whether something was truly just or not, in my opinion, really doesn’t matter. It went through a process and we kind of have to live with the results of what happened. What can we do froma policy level to make a difference that way? Whether it is just or unjust, I will say Breonna Taylor doesn’t deserve to be dead. And no ones going to be held accountable for that and those are the facts,” said Swanson.

Taylor’s case echoes a similar tone to the previous cases the world has seen and in return has left many people wondering what will bring justice. While many other groups are now seeing that a new tactic must be formed with our current system according to Swanson.

“It says the same thing Trayvon Martin said, it says the same thing Tamir Rice said, it says the same thing Sandra Bland has been saying. We are the only people who haven’t done anything different. Maybe we should figure out how to affect things at a policy level. At the end of a day, Breonna Taylor is dead and no one is being held accountable for that. If we really want to make a difference, then we have to come up with a different strategy,” says Swanson.

Ione, previous Loyola alumni, protests the injustices against the Black community.
Malik Jamileh

Ione, a previous Loyola University Alumni, stands in silence with her first up to protest the Black communities injusticesin New Orleans, La, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020.

She asked to not give her last name for confidentiality purposes.

The pain felt by Taylor’s family is a pain many across New Orleans are feeling as well as they stand in solidarity with Breonna Taylor.

The protestors deepest hope it that everyone will continue to say her name.