The death of Breonna Taylor sent shockwaves across the country.
Taylor was killed shortly after midnight on March 13 when police executed a no-knock warrant at her home in Louisville, Kentucky. The 26-year-old died after being shot in her hallway at least five times.
Her tragic death sparked protests and mass demonstrations across the country with prominent athletes, including several Seattle Seahawks, pushing Attorney Daniel Cameron to charge the officers responsible for Taylor’s death.
On Wednesday, a grand jury finally made its highly-anticipated decision on whether it would bring upon charges against the officers that shot and killed Taylor.
Former Louisville Metro Police Department Detective Brett Hankison has been charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment by the grand jury in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) September 23, 2020
No other officer has been charged at this time.
Ex-Louisville officer Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment by the grand jury.— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 23, 2020
The other cops, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly were not indicted. #BreonnaTaylor
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — No officers charged directly in Breonna Taylor’s death; 1 faces 3 counts over shooting into neighboring apartments.— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) September 23, 2020
Moments after the news broke that no officers would be directly charged with Taylor's death, Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner took to the podium at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center to address the media. He was disheartened by the news.
“My initial thoughts is I can’t really say I’m surprised,” Wagner said. “I think there was a lot of hope that they were going to do the right thing. But at the end of the day, given how everything’s happened historically, I can’t say that I’m too surprised. It’s unfortunate. You know I feel, obviously a lot of anger, but we have to try to figure out different ways to get what we want.
"We can’t put it in anybody else’s hands to make the right decision because historically they’ve shown that they will not do that."
Wagner isn't the only Seahawks player who has demanded justice for Taylor. Jamal Adams, who used his first Seahawks press conference to call for the arrest of Taylor's murderers, also had some thoughts.
THAT'S NOT JUSTICE!— Jamal Adams (@Prez) September 24, 2020
BLACK QUEENS MATTER!— Jamal Adams (@Prez) September 24, 2020
In the first game of the 2020 NFL season, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson chose to pay tribute to Taylor by putting her name on his helmet.
“I have a daughter. I have a beautiful 3-year-old daughter,” Wilson said. “And when I think about everything that has happened in our country, it has been an emotional time. An emotional time where there is a lot of hate in the world, a lot of disappointing things that are happening.
“And when I think about Breonna, I think about somebody who seemed to be a gracious person from what we hear and what we read—but also somebody who was just trying to be at home…
Linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven also chose to honor Taylor on his helmet.
"When somebody gets shot asleep in their house on a no-knock warrant, something has to change," Burr-Kirven told Seahawks.com. "The way the news cycle works, it's easy for things to fall out of the news and for people to forget. And you can't forget what happened, you have to make something change, so the best way to keep this in the news and keep people paying attention is to put in a place where millions of people are going to see it every weekend when we play."
Activists will continue to Say Her Name as protests roar in the streets of Louisville, Kentucky Wednesday night, as well as several cities across the country including Seattle and Portland.
All season long, athletes like Wagner, Wilson, Adams and Burr-Kirven will, too, continue their fight for justice for Taylor and the many others who have been killed at the hands of police.
[Listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks podcast with host Joe Fann]