By Abigail Morin | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hundreds of Radford University students, faculty, and staff came to Moffett Lawn for the Breonna Taylor Say Her Name Sit-In Saturday at 6 p.m.
Chancey Gunnell, the president and founder of 100 Collegiate Women at Radford University, started the event. Gunnell explained how sit-ins are a form of passive protest and that they have been used historically in protests against racial discrimination and segregation.
[epq-quote align=”align-left”]Breonna Taylor died from multiple gunshot wounds caused by the police.[/epq-quote]
Gunnell went on to talk about the manslaughter of Breonna Taylor in her home on March 13, 2020, late at night in Louisville, Kentucky.
According to a preliminary statement issued by Tamika Palmer as Administratrix of the Estate of Breonna, she was asleep. At the same time, three Louisville police officers entered her home with a no-knock warrant. Their entrance led Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, a licensed firearm owner, to fire warning shots in self-defense for he feared for Breonna’s and his life.
In response, the Louisville Police officers shot frantically into the home. Breonna Taylor died from multiple gunshot wounds caused by the police.
It had been more than six months since the manslaughter of Breonna Taylor until there was a hearing for the police officers. The grand jury trial ended with no officers charged with manslaughter and one officer charged with wanton endangerment.
After Gunnell finished her speech, she led a two-minute moment of silence.
The Say Her Name Sit-In included artwork from students. Yasmeena Makki, the president of Ladies of Leadership, a leadership club on-campus, shared a self-written poem while a student held up a painting of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.
Aundre Harris, another speaker, spoke about how “Black women are magic,” and “If it weren’t for the determination and persistence of black women, there would be no Underground Railroad, no culture to appropriate, and no black women voting.”
[epq-quote align=”align-right”]While there wasn’t as big of a turnout as The Bigger Picture March, there were still many in attendance.[/epq-quote]
Harris went on to quote Malcolm X, saying, “The most disrespected woman in America is the black woman, the most unprotected woman in America is a black woman, and the most neglected person in America is the black woman.” He called for black men to protect black women.
While there wasn’t as big of a turnout as The Bigger Picture March, there were still many in attendance. University President Brian O. Hemphill, along with other university administrators, faculty, and staff, were at the event to show their support.