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'This is a historic day': Breonna Taylor's family and lawyers comment on the DOJ charges against officers

“This is a day when Black women saw equal justice in America," Benjamin Crump, the Taylor family's attorney said.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After the U.S. Department of Justice announced four former and current Louisville Metro Police officers would be charged in Breonna Taylor's death, Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer said the day "is overdue."

Taylor's family and attorneys gathered at Jefferson Square Park after the announcement, with a crowd chanting: "Say her name, Breonna Taylor."

Benjamin Crump, the Taylor family's attorney, led a press conference in front of the spot where Taylor's memorial originally stood following her death.

"This is a historic day," Crump said. “This is a day when Black women saw equal justice in America."

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday former LMPD detectives Joshua Jaynes and Brett Hankison, and current LMPD Sgt. Kyle Meany and detective Kelly Goodlett would be charged with Taylor's death.

Among those charges: violating Taylor's civil rights, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force, and obstruction offenses.

Garland alleged officers falsified the search warrant officers used to enter Taylor's apartment on March 13, 2020, which ultimately led to her death.

"They have acknowledged that police officers had no right to be in Breonna Taylor's home in the first place," Crump said.

Palmer, said she has waited 874 days for this moment: "It's here now."

She says while the day is long overdue, the pain of her daughter's death still hurts.

"What we've been saying on day one, y'all learning what we've been saying was the truth. That they shouldn't have been there and that Breonna didn't deserve that," Palmer said. "Y'all learning that today that we not crazy." 

Palmer says despite repeated attempts, she was never broken.

Taylor's aunt, Bianca Austin, also expressed relief and continued calls for accountability.

"We still out here gonna get justice for Breonna Taylor because like we said from day one, everyone who was involved with the death of Breonna Taylor, we are coming for you,” she said.

Austin also encouraged other families dealing with similar situations.

"Please keep going. Keep fighting for your family,” she said.

While everyone celebrated the FBI's actions, they also call for Attorney General Daniel Cameron to be fired. In 2020, he chose not to charge the officers. The move brought national outrage.

"His political career needs to end now,” Lonita Baker, Taylor's family lawyer, said. “He has no right holding any political offices representing constituents in the state of Kentucky!"

"He had the right to do the right thing and he chose not to,” Palmer said.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland was pressed on the subject Thursday; a reporter asked if Garland if he felt the need to do more since the officers were not charged locally. Garland said the federal charges were filed because the justice department believes federal interests were not vindicated.

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