One of the most frustrating things on social media at the moment is the amount of people screaming for someone, anyone – but preferably the authorities – to arrest the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers who shot and killed 26-year-old EMT Breonna Taylor in her home in March 2020. It’s been five months of effort, both good and not so great, and Breonna’s family is no closer to justice. Oprah Winfrey is clearly getting tired waiting for anything to be done, and so she recently paid to have a whole bunch of billboards erected around Louisville, Kentucky, demanding that the officers involved finally be arrested and charged.
This news comes about a week after Oprah debuted the September issue of O magazine, which featured a painting of Breonna on the cover. It was the first non-Oprah cover in the magazine’s 20-year history. Oprah wrote that “we can’t be silent,” and that we have to use “whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice.” The justice being that LMPD officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove be dragged back from whatever beach they might be hanging out on, and arrested and charged (only Brett Hankison was fired from the LMPD back in June).
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For the first time in 20 years, @oprah has given up her O Magazine cover to honor Breonna Taylor. She says, “Breonna Taylor. She was just like you. And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter. Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem. What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice. And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of O magazine. I cry for justice in her name.” Tap the link in our bio to read more about Oprah’s tribute to Breonna—and her recent conversation with her mother, Tamika Palmer. Breonna: This one’s for you 🙏🏽 The September issue will be available wherever you buy or download your magazines on 8/11. (🎨: @alexis_art)
Oprah then made sure as many people saw her message about Breonna Taylor as possible, by purchasing billboard space all around Louisville. According to O magazine, 26 billboards were bought. It’s a little Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, except Oprah went one step further by stamping her name on every billboard so that there’s no mystery about who paid for them. And also, because there are more than three billboards. And it’s Kentucky, not Missouri. Really, the only common denominator is the billboards, and lack of arrests.
O Magazine Places 26 Billboards of Breonna Taylor Cover in Louisville, Kentucky https://t.co/IvN9wu4Qtf
— O The Oprah Magazine (@oprahmagazine) August 7, 2020
The billboards also feature a call to action directed towards the website for Until Freedom, a social justice organization set up to address systemic and racial injustice (they have been leading protests demanding justice for Breonna). O magazine explains they chose to put up 26 billboards, as it represents how old Breonna was when she was killed. The billboards can be seen in downtown Louisville, on Interstate 65, the East End commuter route, and western Louisville.
With that being said, those in charge might want to start taking Oprah seriously. Because today Oprah’s metaphorical megaphone is 26 strategically-placed billboards. Tomorrow, it might be an actual megaphone. Oprah is rich rich, and you know that all it takes is a snap of her fingers, Stedman Graham is pulling up in front of LMPD headquarters in a van with Oprah leaning out the passenger side, holding a mic connected to a giant custom-built megaphone on the roof. And for 9 hours a day, she’s shouting, “You need to arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor, you need to arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor…I’m not making a car give-away joke, you literally need to arrest those officers.”