Breonna Taylor’s younger sister has recalled the heartbreaking moment she learned her sibling had been shot dead in their home, as she calls for the police officers responsible for her killing to be arrested and charged.
Ju’Niyah Palmer, 20, opened up on her sister’s death in an emotional interview with The Washington Post on Saturday.
Palmer revealed she had been living with Breonna in the Louisville, Kentucky apartment where she was gunned down in March, after moving with her sister and boyfriend two years ago.
Breonna, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot eight times after cops barged into her home at 1am while operating on a search warrant for a drug investigation.
At the time of the raid, Palmer said she had been visiting someone in California and received a FaceTime call from a friend informing her that there had been a shooting in the neighborhood.
She immediately called Breonna and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, who was also living in the apartment at the time, but did not get a response.
It was only when, hours later, she received a phone call from her mother that she would learn her sister had been killed in the shooting.
‘She just started crying,’ Palmer told the paper. ‘She was like: ‘Breonna’s been shot.’ And I said, ‘What do you mean, she’s been shot?’ And she said, ‘Your sister’s dead.”
Palmer, in denial, said she hung up the phone and continued to call her sister’s cellphone, but again, did not get an answer.
Once reality set in, Palmer said it took a couple weeks before she could return to the apartment she shared with her sister, who she described as her ‘person’, while she was Breonna’s ‘shadow’.
‘I was kind of stuck in a daze for a while,’ she said. ‘I couldn’t go back to being normal. I moved in with my mom, but it still wasn’t normal.’
In April, she returned to her and her sister’s apartment, where the walls were now riddled with bullet holes, to pack up her final things.
In the months since Breonna’s death, Palmer has continued to keep her memory alive by sharing photos of her sister on social media and demanding action on her killers.
She continues to participate at the ongoing protests at Jefferson Square Park in Louisville, but Palmer revealed the nationwide attention surrounding her sister’s killing has made it difficult for her to properly grieve.
‘Mostly at night is when I can really think, and I have moments – like, I’ll cry,’ she told the paper.
‘But I haven’t grieved it, if that makes sense. I still don’t want to face it.’
‘I really just hope those officers really do get charged and fired,’ she added.
‘They took somebody who didn’t deserve this. And hopefully, at some point, I hope the world can regain some peace.’
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and detectives Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove who were involved in the shooting have not been charged despite protests.