Blazers

Trail Blazers speak out following Breonna Taylor grand jury decision

Blazers

For months, people across the country have been urging Attorney General Daniel Cameron to arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor.

On Tuesday, a grand jury indicted one officer on criminal charges six months after Taylor was fatally shot. Two other officers who fired shots during the botched raid were not indicted.

Louisville, Kentucky police shot and killed Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical worker, in March while serving a no-knock warrant at the wrong apartment. The tragic death sparked protests and mass demonstrations across the country with NBA players urging Cameron to criminally charge the officers responsible for Taylor’s death.

Anfernee Simons was the first Trail Blazer to speak out after the Taylor verdict came in. 

Carmelo Anthony shared a post to his Instagram story noting that 65 years ago a jury acquitted the two men responsible for Emmett Till's murder. Till, a Black teenager from Chicago, was accused of whistling at a white woman while in a store to buy candy and then abducted, tortured and murdered while visiting family in Mississippi.

Like Taylor, justice was never served. 

Trail Blazers guard and NBPA executive committee vice president CJ McCollum has been at the forefront of the social justice movement in the NBA.  

NBPA executive director Michele Roberts released this statement Wednesday afternoon saying:

“Sadly, there was no justice today for Breonna.”

The Trail Blazers guard later tweeted out his thoughts on the verdict.

McCollum, who was recently on a Zoom call with Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, called for proper justice for Breonna Taylor.  

 

“We’ve been very proactive with our conversations and phone calls,” McCollum said in July. “We actually did a Zoom call with Breonna Taylor’s mother a few days ago to get more information on everything that is going on, everything that has happened. I want to go on the record saying that [Kentucky Attorney General] Daniel Cameron is in position to arrest the cops who are responsible for killing Breonna Taylor and still has not done that, so he’s the one who is in the position to potentially do that...

So, we want to continue to uplift people like Breonna Taylor who are victims and haven’t received the proper justice that they are due.

CJ McCollum

Damian Lillard has used his platform to speak out against racism in police brutality. The five-time NBA All-Star is one of many players who have taken part in Black Lives Matter protests in response to the deaths of Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and others.  

He also released the song “Blacklist” on his latest Dame D.O.L.L.A. album condemning racism and those who perpetuate it. Taylor's name was featured on the artwork for Lillard's emotional track. 

As activists and protestors continue to demand justice for Taylor and others, expect the Trail Blazers to continue using their platform to advocate for racial justice and equality for all.

[Listen to the latest Talkin' Blazers podcast with NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award-winning co-host Dan Sheldon]