For months, actors, sports stars, musicians and other celebrities have been using their platforms to call for justice in the police shooting death of Breonna Taylor. Her picture was used on the cover of O, The Oprah Magazine this year, and even Beyoncé sent a letter to the Kentucky attorney general asking for justice.
After a grand jury on Wednesday indicted one of the Kentucky police officers on criminal charges, but not for her death, many high-profile figures decried the decision.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron referenced the calls from stars and their likely reaction during his remarks, and urged people to keep protests peaceful.
“There will be celebrities, influencers and activists who having never lived in Kentucky will try to tell us how to feel, suggesting they understand the facts of this case, that they know our community and the Commonwealth better than we do, but they don’t," Cameron said. “Let’s not give in to their attempts to influence our thinking or capture our emotions.”
President Donald Trump has praised the Republican attorney general for Kentucky for his handling of the investigation into Taylor’s death.
Trump read from Cameron’s statement Wednesday that “justice is not often easy.”
“I said, ‘Write that down for me please cause I think it was a terrific statement,’” Trump said.
Trump called Cameron “brilliant” and said “he’s handling it very well.”
Here are how some stars and athletes reacted to the decision.
“It’s all kind of numbing. On one hand it’s like I KNOW I’m not crazy there’s a real problem in our country. On the other I’m sad that everyone doesn’t see it and some don’t want to. Of course I know God is at work. It’s just tough to process it all. #BreonnaTaylor” — Lecrae, recording artist, via Twitter.
"A federal investigation remains ongoing, but we do not need to wait for the final judgment ... to do more to deliver justice for Breonna. We know what is necessary. We need to start by addressing the use of excessive force, banning chokeholds, and overhauling no-knock warrants. I know people are frustrated and they have a right to peacefully protest, but violence is never acceptable. And we can express pain, grief, anger, and disappointment at the way things are." — Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, in a statement.
“We must never stop speaking Breonna’s name as we work to reform our justice system, including overhauling no-knock warrants.” — Kamala Harris, U.S. senator and running mate of Biden, via Twitter.
“This is is a PRIME example of Rotten to the CORE!!! UnJust!!!! Disrespectful and BLATANT DISREGARD!!!! Infuriated!!!!!!!” — Alicia Keys, recording artist, via Twitter.
“Breonna Taylor’s life mattered. This result is a disgrace and an abdication of justice. Our criminal justice system is racist. The time for fundamental change is now.” — Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator for Vermont.
“I don’t have many words right now.... but all I can say is I’m praying for the city of Louisville right now!!!” – Donovan Mitchell, NBA player, former Louisville Cardinals player, via Twitter.
“'To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a state of rage almost all of the time.' James Baldwin. #BreonnaTaylor" — recording artist and actor Common, via Twitter.
“Daniel Cameron is on Donald Trump’s short list as replacement of #RGB on the Supreme Court. The same man who decided to not charge the officers responsible for killing #BreonnaTaylor. Vote.” — Kerry Washington, actor, referring to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, via Twitter.
“I don’t pretend to be an expert in the law, an expert in the legal system of every state. What I do know, what I do understand is whatever the law, whatever is protecting (the police) in this case and many other cases is hard to comprehend, hard to understand. If this is the protections they have, we have a real problem. There was an anticipation that this was not going to go down the way it should have. That’s been proven with the news we got today.” — Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce, in a media call on Wednesday.
“Breonna Taylor was murdered in her own home by police. This isn’t justice or accountability. This is a broken system.” — Julián Castro, former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“No. Officers. Charged. In. The. Killing. Of. #BreonnaTaylor. One. Was. Charged. For. Endangering. But. NOT. Killing. Her. Neighbors. #MakeMeWannaHollerAndThrowUpBothMyHands.” — Yvette Nicole Brown, actor.
“My heart is broken for the family of Breonna Taylor. once again we’re left with nothing that they try to make seem as something” — Ella Mai, recording artist, via Twitter.
“I don’t have the words. #BreonnaTaylor and her family deserve justice.” — actor and recording artist Mandy Moore, via Twitter.
“Brett Hankison is indicted for shooting into the apartment NEXT to Breonna Taylor & not for KILLING HER. He’s fired for shooting into BREONNA TAYLOR’S apartment & not for KILLING HER. This is systemic racism. Property is worth more than a Black woman.” — W. Kamau Bell, comedian, TV host, via Twitter.
“It’s a very complicated situation. But it ain’t right and enough already. Enough already. It’s time for some people to go to jail.” — Queen Latifah, recording artist and actor, in an interview with The Associated Press.
"This is why police need to be defunded and ultimately abolished! We time and time again hope for a sliver of justice but why would we get that when the system is designed to protect the very folks that are murdering and terrorizing us. This isn’t a bad apple, it’s a rotten tree.” -- Layshia Clarendon, WNBA player for the New York Liberty, via Twitter.
“Bulls--- decision!!! BLACK LIVES MATTER!!! Cannot be said enough times." — Viola Davis, actor, via Twitter.