Madison Holds Birthday Party for Breonna Taylor



By Jessica VanEgeren

June 5, 2020

Killed by Louisville police in her home, Taylor would have turned 27 Friday.

Hundreds of people gathered at James Madison Park in Madison Friday to remember the life of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old African American woman who was gunned down and killed by three Louisville police officers March 13.

“It would have been Breonna’s 27th birthday today but she was murdered by police in her home as she slept,” said Mahnker Dahnweih, the community power building coordinator for Freedom Inc., at the event.  “So we are out to celebrate her life, and to say celebrate us, celebrate Black people, and celebrate our leadership.” 

Breonna Taylor 27th birthday
A mural in downtown Madison commemorates the life of Breonna Taylor. She was killed by Louisville police officers on March 13 while in her bed sleeping. (Photo © Andy Manis)

The free, community event provided barbeque, music, even a kickball game for those in attendance. It was coordinated by Freedom Inc. and Urban Triage Inc., two groups who have been coordinating daily demonstrations to protest the death of African Americans killed by police officers and advocate for defunding the police. 

According to, Taylor’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. On May 21, the FBI’s Louisville office announced they were opening an investigation into the events surrounding her death. 

Madison Holds Birthday Party for Breonna Taylor
A gathering at James Madison Park for a birthday celebration for Breonna Taylor.(Photo © Andy Manis)

Officers used a no-knock warrant to enter Taylor’s home because authorities suspected a man involved in a drug ring was receiving packages at her home. 

The three officers involved in her shooting are still on administrative leave, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. They have not been charged with any crimes.

On May 21, the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department announced it would require all sworn officers to wear body cameras, according to

The same day, the LMPD’s Police Chief Steve Conrad announced he would be retiring at the end of June.

However, Conrad was removed from his post on June 1 after it was discovered the officers present at the shooting death of a black man named David McAtee during a Louisville protest did not have their body 

cams turned on.

Madison Holds Birthday Party for Breonna Taylor
Chalk messages in memory of Breonna Taylor at her birthday party in Madison. (Photo © Andy Manis)

On June 3, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the city of Louisville would be “issuing a request for proposal for a comprehensive, top-to-bottom review” of the LMPD, to be conducted by an external firm. 


CATEGORIES: Social Justice


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