Black woman to lead Louisville police force responsible for Breonna Taylor shooting

First black woman appointed as Chief to repair the divides caused by Breonna Taylor's death

Louisville, Kentucky is still reeling from the shooting of Breonna Taylor. In an attempt to heal that divide, Mayor Greg Fischer announced on Monday that Yvette Gentry will serve as interim chief of the department – the first Black woman to lead the police department. By Michael Delaney.

Breonna Taylor shooting

Protesters have marched for more than 100 consecutive days since Breonna Taylor’s death.

The 26-year-old Black paramedic, was shot and killed as officers attempted to serve a no-knock search warrant at her apartment on 13th March.

Since then, a national outcry has demanded serious changes to the city’s police and other systems they say have perpetuated systemic racism. This has included the likes of Oprah Winfrey who took out a series of billboards calling for justice.

A billboard calling for justice for Breonna Taylor sits on the corner of a Kentucky street.

A change at the top

Ms Gentry will replace interim Chief Robert Schroeder. Schroeder took over on June 1 when Fischer fired longtime Chief, Steve Conrad, after learning officers did not have body cameras turned on during the fatal shooting of the owner of a popular West End eatery.

The FBI is currently investigating Ms Taylor’s death.

The defence put forward by the officers accused of killing Ms Taylor claim that her boyfriend started shooting at them first, so they returned fire. Whether charges will be brought against the officers is still yet to be determined.

In an emotional speech, Ms Gentry said the past four months have been tough on police officers as well as on protesters, adding that it’s tough “seeing things just feel so hopeless.”

“I think our city is at a point of reckoning that only truth can bring us out of. Only truth can break us out; only truth can take away darkness.”

Ms Gentry retired from the force in 2014, before working to complete a community centre in 2017. She is expected to step down at the end of the year.

Justice for Breonna Taylor

You can still add your name to the petition calling for justice, by following the link here.

Want to help support the BLM movement – here are 10 ways you can help.