Jada Pinkett Smith and Common Call for Justice at Rally Honoring Breonna Taylor
By Leena Tailor
Protesters chanted, “No justice, no peace,” at a rally in honor of Breonna Taylor at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort on Thursday. Celebrities including Jada Pinkett Smith and Common were among the speakers at the “Justice for Breonna Taylor” event, organized by social justice group Until Freedom.
Taylor was killed in March after police entered the apartment she shared with her boyfriend and made a late-night raid on the wrong address. She was shot eight times and died at the age of 26. The Louisville Metro Police Department announced on Tuesday that one of the officers involved, Brett Hankison, had been fired, however no-one is facing criminal charges, sparking national outcry and demand for justice.
Celebrities including Beyoncé and Lizzo have joined the fight for justice and as hundreds gathered at Thursday’s rally, Smith voiced her support.
“One thing I want you to know [is] that it does not go unseen that the revolution stands on your shoulders,” she said before commending the crowd on their love and courage. “I want you know that we want to say thank you, because it is you standing out here that's gonna keep shining a light on Breonna's name.”
“And, what we need is justice for our sister Breonna and that's why we are here today. And that's why my family is here today.” Smith continued, before addressing Taylor’s grieving mother, Tamika Palmer. “From one family to another -- to Tamika, we wanted to come here, show her love and amplify your voice and amplify the life of your daughter.”
Smith’s son, Jaden Smith, posted a photo wearing matching Until Freedom t-shirts at the rally along with sister Willow.
Musician Common also delivered a speech to the crowd. "This is the grace right here,” he said. “The grace is in the fight. The grace is in justice. And, we will stand in the creator's grace when we fight and stand up for our own, to stand up for ourselves and stand up for what the creator created us to be. The creator created Breonna to be a special human being."
The rapper also shared a post about the rally on his Instagram page, in which he explained the importance he felt to attend the event.
“We flew out to #Kentucky earlier today to demand justice for Breonna Taylor at a special rally that was organized by @UntilFreedom and Breonna’s Family,” he wrote. “It has now been more than THREE months since she was murdered by police in her own home and still no justice. We must continue to speak out and speak up. For the rally, I wrote a poem dedicated to Breonna and Black Women everywhere. We Love you Breonna.”
Meanwhile, songstress Alicia Keys also encouraged her followers to fight for justice in honor of Taylor. In a video posted on her Instagram, she said, “Family, how are you showing up for Breonna Taylor?” The singer also suggested ways for people to help and provided contacts.
The calls to action come 100 days after Taylor’s death.
See more on Taylor, who was an EMT working at two Kentucky hospitals, below.