Texans' Kenny Stills Participates in Social Justice Rally for Breonna Taylor

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2020

Miami Dolphins' Julius Thomas (89), Michael Thomas (31) and Kenny Stills take a knee as the U.S. national anthem is played before an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday Oct. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Houston Texans wideout Kenny Stills participated in a gathering at Kentucky's Capitol building in Frankfort on Thursday where activists and protesters sought justice for Breonna Taylor. 

The gathering included Taylor's family and a number of other speakers, such as musician and actor Common, actor and producer Jada Pinkett Smith and trial lawyer Ben Crump:

Kenny Stills @KSTiLLS

#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor https://t.co/L8xaXhJ0sa

Ben Crump @AttorneyCrump

Today we honored #BreonnaTaylor’s life and let her name be heard at the KY State Capitol ✊🏾 Shout out to @tamikadmallory & @untilfreedom for organizing the #JusticeForBre rally 👏🏾 Thank you to everyone who showed support either virtually or here in Frankfort. We must not let up!! https://t.co/RJinm79QF1

Senait @SenaitTV

Jada Pinkett Smith brought Willow and Jaden to Frankfort #Kentucky with her to stand in solidarity with #BreonnaTaylor’s mother. @untilfreedom https://t.co/aV2NaTzgi2

Fred @WaywardWinifred

Huge turnout at the Kentucky State Capitol for the #BreonnaTaylor rally. Organizers from @untilfreedom and @BLMLouisville, @common and Breonna's mom spoke. Arrest and charge the cops who murdered Breonna Taylor now. Photos: Erik Branch https://t.co/aNNeM9Extg

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was shot and killed in her own apartment late at night on March 13 after Louisville detectives raided her home as part of a narcotics investigation. Police suspected a man was having narcotics sent to Taylor's apartment and stored there. They obtained a no-knock warrant to raid her apartment, though police have claimed they did knock. 

Taylor's family has disputed that claim.

Taylor was reportedly asleep at the time of the raid. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot at the officers, believing someone was breaking in. He had reportedly been in the process of calling 911 when police entered the home. Walker was charged with attempted murder of a police officer and first-degree assault, though the charges were dropped.

Per the AP, "Taylor was shot eight times by officers." The three detectives on the scene—Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly—have not been arrested or charged with any crimes. Hankison has since been fired, while Cosgrove and Mattingly are on administrative leave. Activists want to see all three detectives arrested. 

Protests have continued around the United States and the world as people demand justice in the wake of the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd—who died after since-fired and since-arrested Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes—and to raise awareness about systemic racism and police brutality. 

Stills was one of the NFL players to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem to protest racial discrimination and police brutality, following in the lead of Colin Kaepernick

"I removed my filter when it comes to politics, religion, social issues. I'm not worried about whether people are comfortable or uncomfortable," he told Cameron Wolfe of The Undefeated in 2019. "Unarmed black people are being killed by police. It's unfair that we've got people sitting around being comfortable. I'm uncomfortable with that."