Oprah is in the process of putting 26 billboards featuring Breonna Taylor around Louisville, Ky., where the 26-year-old was shot and killed by police while she slept in her home in March.
The billboards call for the arrest of the officers involved and direct people to the website for social justice organization Until Freedom. So far, one of the officers lost his job but no charges have been filed, despite the widespread outcry. A Hearst spokesperson confirmed to TheWrap that the billboards began going up Thursday and will all be up by Monday. For one month, they will be in Downtown, South End & West End.
The image on the billboard is the one used on the cover of September’s O Magazine (out Aug. 11), which Oprah ceded to Taylor, marking the first time the media mogul herself did not appear on the cover. The number of billboards is significant, too — one for each of the years Breonna lived.
“We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice,” Winfrey said in a note on the magazine’s digital site when the cover was unveiled at the end of July. “And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of O magazine. I cry for justice in her name.”
She also shared the story of Taylor’s death and how Louisville police had been “storming into her apartment in the middle of the night. No uniforms. No ‘This is the police!’ Terrifying Breonna and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.”
When Walker called Taylor mother to say someone had broken in and shot her, he still didn’t know it had been the police.
“Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem,” Winfrey wrote at the time. “What I know for sure: We can’t be silent.”
— Tre – Justice for Black Lives (@RadioLamb) August 6, 2020