NBPA's Michele Roberts: 'There Was No Justice Today for Breonna Taylor'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2020

National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts, left, sitting next to National Hockey League Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Jessica Berman, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, before the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on domestic violence in professional sports. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the West Virginia Democrat who chairs the panel, says he called for Tuesday's hearing because
Susan Walsh/Associated Press

NBPA executive director Michele Roberts provided a statement following Wednesday's grand jury decision in the killing of Breonna Taylor:

"Sadly, there was no justice today for Breonna Taylor. Her killing was the result of a string of callous and careless decisions made with a lack of regard for humanity, ultimately resulting in the death of an innocent and beautiful woman with her entire life ahead of her. Our players and I once again extend our deepest sympathies to her family and we vow to continue working in her honor and to always say her name."

Taylor was killed in March after being shot by police officers executing a no-knock warrant at her apartment in Louisville. Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said officers did not identify themselves and he fired one shot at officers because he thought they were intruders. The officers found no evidence of criminal activity in the apartment. 

On Wednesday, former officer Brett Hankison was indicted on first-degree wanton endangerment charges for shooting into neighboring apartments while the other two officers involved face no charges, per Ray Sanchez and Elizabeth Joseph of CNN. 

None of the three will face direct criminal charges for killing Taylor even though the city of Louisville agreed to pay her family $12 million in a wrongful death settlement. On Wednesday, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said officers were "justified in their use of force."

Roberts' words echo the disappointment from other NBA coaches and players, as well as other notable figures in other sports Wednesday:

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The NBA has been active in the fight for social justice over the past few months following the police-involved deaths of Taylor, George Floyd and Jacob Blake.

Following worldwide protests that arose after Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minnesota, the league painted "Black Lives Matter" on courts during the restarted season while allowing players to post social justice messages on their jerseys. Among the options was "Say Her Name," a reference to Taylor and other women who have been killed by police.