Recent developments in the case of Breonna Taylor renews call for action
On Sept. 23 it was announced that an officer related to the case of Breonna Taylor, Brett Hankison, was indicted for firing into neighboring apartments. Hankison later pleaded not guilty to the charges of wanton endangerment.
“I felt extremely disappointed but not surprised to say the least,” said Alexis Cheatum, junior outside hitter of the UH volleyball team. “The charges were not even for Breonna Taylor’s death, but for the bullet’s that missed her and could have possibly killed other people next door.”
The indictments led to many protests throughout the country, continuing the ongoing call for justice that began earlier this year after the death of George Floyd was posted all over social media.
“The public wants to know why the lives of people who almost died deemed to be more valuable than the one innocent life lost,” Cheatum said.
Under the pressure of protesters and calls for justice on social media, local lawmakers have been attempting to appease the public by passing legislation to increase police accountability and prevent officers from engaging in certain behaviors with suspects.
Aside from legislation, these protests against police brutality and racial injustice have resurfaced conversations about racial inequity and a systemic issue in our country that allows for this inequity to remain virtually untouched.
“The next step towards fighting systemic oppression is exercising our right to vote,” Cheatum said.“Too long the youth have believed ‘my vote does not matter,’ but indeed it matters more than we know.”
Cheatum said herself, the UH College Republicans, the UH College Democrats and select student leaders are working to have a polling location on campus so students can exercise their right to cast their ballot.
“We can slowly dismantle the system by electing officials in and voting officials out of office,” Cheatum said.
The Cougar Voting Coalition, which Cheatum is a member of, met with various UH officials in order to ensure the health and safety of students and Third Ward community members on election day, and decided that the polling location would be at TDECU Stadium.
“I will do whatever I can to defend Black men, women and children’s civil rights,” said Cheatum, “by getting into the American justice system and dismantling oppression one racist bigot at a time.”