Oprah Winfrey Explains Why She Put Breonna Taylor on the Cover of 'O, The Oprah Magazine'

Chelsey Sanchez
Photo credit: Oprah Magazine
Photo credit: Oprah Magazine

From ELLE

Oprah Winfrey wants us to continue fighting for justice for Breonna Taylor.

In an effort to remind us all that the struggle is far from over, she featured a portrait of the 26-year-old EMT on the cover of the September issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, breaking from the publication's tradition of featuring Winfrey herself.

Last March, Taylor was shot and killed by gunfire from Louisville police officers who entered her apartment in the middle of the night on a no-knock warrant. While one officer has been dismissed from the Louisville Metro Police Department, the two other officers involved are still on the force. No charges have been filed against them.

"She was just like me," Winfrey wrote in an essay for the magazine. "She was just like you. And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter."

Winfrey added that she had spoken to Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, writing, "The day I called, Ms. Palmer was dealing with the emotion of it all. She told me, 'I can't stop seeing her face. Her smile. It's what I miss most about her. I still can't grasp the concept of her being gone. It feels so surreal. I'm still waiting for her to come through the door.'"



She also described the chilling way that Palmer discovered that Taylor did not survive the police shooting. "Ms. Palmer says she received the call from [Kenneth Walker, Taylor's boyfriend], telling her that somebody had kicked in the door and shot Breonna and he didn't know who it was," Winfrey wrote. "She wouldn't learn that the somebody was the police until hours later. When she heard it on the news.

"In the dark of that awful night, she rushed to her daughter’s apartment, seven minutes away. Was not allowed inside. Was told to go to the hospital. The hospital had received no one by that name. Returned to Breonna's to wait outside. Hours passed before she was informed by a police officer that the gunshot victim was still inside. That is how she knew her daughter was dead."

Palmer additionally told Winfrey, "The fact that no one has been charged. It was so reckless. They did all of this for nothing, and she lost her life."

Winfrey continued, "Breonna Taylor was 26 years old. Breonna Taylor loved cars and treated her 2019 Dodge Charger like a trusted friend. Breonna Taylor loved chicken any way you could cook it. Breonna Taylor put hot sauce on everything, especially eggs. Breonna Taylor appreciated every kind of music and the dances that went along. Breonna Taylor treated all her friends like besties. Breonna Taylor was a force in the life of her 20-year-old sister. Breonna Taylor felt meaning and purpose in her work as an emergency room technician. Breonna Taylor was saving to buy a house. Breonna Taylor had plans. Breonna Taylor had dreams. They all died with her the night five bullets shattered her body and her future."

She ended the poignant essay with a call to action. "What I know for sure: We can't be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice.

"And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of O magazine.

"I cry for justice in her name."

The publication also listed multiple ways that we can all continue to fight for Taylor, including signing the Change.org and Color of Change petitions, heading to StandWithBre.com for guidance on how to contact Kentucky officials, donating to the Louisville Community Bail Fund, and simply using the hashtag #SayHerName on social media.

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