LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mayor Greg Fischer on Wednesday joined family and friends of Breonna Taylor, David McAtee and Tyler Gerth to unveil a new historical marker in Jefferson Square Park that memorializes their deaths and the 2020 racial justice protests.
What You Need To Know
- Mayor Greg Fischer helped dedicate a new historic marker at Jefferson Square Park memorializing Breonna Taylor
- The marker, labeled "2020 Racial Justice Protests" also memorializes David McAtee, Tyler Gerth and the 2020 racial justice protests
- Breonna Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, attended the unveiling
The marker, labeled “2020 Racial Justice Protests,” reads:
"Built in 1978, Jefferson Square Park memorializes first responders killed in the line of duty. In 2020, it became a rallying place for those demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, a Black woman tragically killed by Louisville Metro Police serving a search warrant. Protesters called this space “Injustice Square Park” and held demonstrations that drew global attention.
Over 2,000 U.S. cities saw racial justice protests fueled by the police killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and others. Locally, these demonstrations prompted police reform and policy changes to improve racial equity in the city. Many here also mourned Louisvillians David McAtee and photographer Tyler Gerth, killed in incidents related to the protests."
Taylor's death after a botched no-knock raid on her apartment partly sparked the widespread racial justice protests seen in more than 2,000 U.S. cities over the summer of 2020, alongside the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Before the unveiling, which was private at the request of the families, Fischer thanked the Taylor, McAtee and Gerth families for their contributions to move the city forward.
“The marker will in no way diminish the tremendous pain that they suffer still,” Fischer said, according to a news release, “but we believed it was critical that we acknowledge the history behind the tragedies of 2020, the resulting demonstrations, and reason for the important reforms and policy changes that resulted and are still underway.”
Former Louisville officer Kelly Goodlett admitted in federal court that she and another officer falsified information in the warrant. That confirmed to many, including U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, that Taylor never should have been visited by armed officers on March 13, 2020.
Fischer said he's still "deeply sorry" for the tragic deaths that occurred. “My team and I agreed early on that the only way to honor that pain was to find the truth that leads to justice – and to take the necessary steps to ensure this never happens again.”
Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, said she was grateful to be a part of history.
"Thank you to Mayor Fischer for dedicating a historical marker ensuring our babies do not get swept away in history," Palmer said. "There is so much work to be done, but actions like the one taken today help further that work.”
Palmer and the city of Louisville reached a $12 million settlement six months after her death. The settlement stipulated that the city didn't have to admit any wrongdoing.