Four protesters have started a hunger strike on Monday (July 20) to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old EMT who was fatally shot by Louisville police officers.
According to the Courier-Journal, the participants — Ari Maybe, Amira Bryant, Vincent Gonzalez and Tabin Ibershoff — say they will stop the strike once their demands are met. They want the three police officers who were involved in the shooting removed from their positions and their pensions stripped.
“I’ve done a little bit of fasting before, but I don’t think I’ve gone more than three days without eating,” said Ibershoff. “I don’t see that a lot of the other actions that we have taken have received enough attention from the people in power here in Louisville.”
The protesters won’t eat anything but vitamin supplements and are only allowed to drink water, black coffee and herbal teas during the strike. They will also be live-streaming the strike on their social media platforms to keep the public informed and up-to-date.
“It’s four individuals that are abstaining from all caloric intake, but we have an army of other people helping us fundraise, helping on the back end and things like that,” Maybe said. “I think all together we probably have about 35 people involved right now.”
Taylor was fatally shot on March 13. The three officers involved in the shooting — Jon Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison — were never arrested or charged. They entered her home under a no-knock warrant over a drug case and opened fire once Taylor’s boyfriend fired a warning shot. No drugs were ever found at the apartment.
Since the shooting, Hankison was fired from the department. He has now filed to appeal his termination. To watch the livestream of the hunger strike, check out the group’s Facebook page titled Hunger Strikers for Breonna.