‘I Can’t Breathe Chattanooga’ Demands Justice for Breonna Taylor

By: Samuel Still, Assistant News Editor-

Local racial justice organization, ‘I Can’t Breathe Chattanooga,’ protested in Miller Park following the verdict presented by a grand jury in the police shooting of Breonna Taylor.

On Wednesday Sept. 23, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced that a grand jury made the decision to not charge Louisville Metro Police Department officers Brett Hankinson, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove for their involvement in the death of Breonna Taylor, during the execution of a no-knock warrant at Taylor’s apartment.

The grand jury did however charge Hankinson with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing multiple shots into neighboring apartments. These felonies each carry a sentence of up to five years in prison if Hankinson is found guilty.

Outraged by the grand jury’s verdict, organizers of ‘I Can’t Breathe Chattanooga’ called on their supporters to meet at Miller Park to protest the decision and make their discontent heard.

“The purpose of tonight’s protest is to stand in solidarity with Breonna Taylor’s family [and] Louisville.” Marie Mott, co-founder of ‘I Can’t Breathe Chattanooga,’ said. “Of course, there was no justice served today. No officer was indicted for any involvement in her murder, and that is a gross miscarriage of justice.”

Dozens of protestors came together in the rain of Wednesday evening wearing t-shirts and masks with Black Lives Matter slogans written across them; one person wore a shirt with an airbrushed drawing of Breonna Taylor on it.

Others carried signs with “Defund the Police,” “Justice for Breonna Taylor” and other rallying cries written on them. Led by Cameron “C-Grimey” Williams, a co-founder of ‘I Can’t Breathe Chattanooga,’ the protestors chanted “Power to the people.”

Both Mott and Williams gave impassioned speeches to the crowd about the disappointment of the verdict, the injustices that black people face in America, the victims of police brutality and what the path forward for community organizing looks like.

“It is time to take a stand against white supremacy, and that’s a problem white people can solve,” Mott said, “and it’s time for all of us to work together to fight fascism ‘cause that’s a problem we all can solve.”

Following their speeches, Mott and Williams led the protestors in a march from Miller Park to the Hamilton County Courthouse where they reiterated their call for justice for victims of police brutality, implored their supporters to continue educating themselves and others and to keep organizing locally to fight injustice.

For further information about how to get involved with ‘I Can’t Breathe Chattanooga’ follow the organization on Facebook and Instagram or visit their website here.

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