Statement by Urban League of Broward County in Response to Grand Jury Verdict in the Breonna Taylor Case

Fort Lauderdale, FL - The Urban League of Broward County joins the national expression of outrage to the recent grand jury decision regarding the police shooting of Breonna Taylor and calls for the release of grand jury transcripts as a first step in bridging the deep divide between law enforcement and the black community. 

The late and lenient court ruling and the shooting of two Louisville police officers are both tragic and unacceptable. Together, these incidents have left communities wounded as calls for justice have inflamed hostility toward law enforcement and incited further outbreaks of violence.

“Launching a federal investigation and releasing the transcripts in Breonna Taylor’s case are among the many interventions necessary to promote healing and systemic change,” says Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh, president and CEO of the Urban League of Broward County. “Every action to address mistrust between the criminal justice system and the communities it serves is critical to maintaining public safety and diffusing civil unrest.”

Ms. Taylor was a 26-year-old emergency room technician and aspiring nurse who was fatally shot by Louisville police officers who broke into her apartment while executing a “no-knock” warrant.  This week, six months after the shooting, a grand jury indicted only one of the three police officers on wanton endangerment charges, a ruling that left many seeking reform outraged and heartbroken. 

The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers helped many Americans better understand society’s enduring racial inequities. Unfortunately, any progress to remedy those problems are eroded by the perception of law enforcement and a legal system that works one way for the privileged and differently for others.

The Urban League remains committed to this fight and joins civic, business and nonprofit partners in building solutions that are rooted in healing and that advance equity, opportunity and justice.