AIDS United’s CEO responds to the grand jury results in Breonna Taylor’s murder

Breonna Taylor was asleep in her bed when intruders broke into her home after midnight, with guns drawn. Her boyfriend fired a warning shot, striking the leg of one of the invaders.

The trespassers turned out to be police, engaging in what some have called a botched raid. The police returned fire, shooting and killing Taylor.

A grand jury was empaneled to examine the officers’ behavior. Chargers were brought against only one of the officers for “wanton endangerment” because his shots missed Taylor and went into a nearby apartment.

The grand jury found the use of deadly force by the other two officers was justified.

Jesse Milan Jr., president and CEO of AIDS United, issued the following statement after the grand jury result was announced Wednesday.

“We are astounded and dismayed by the grand jury outcomes in this case. So many of us were expecting both justice for Breonna and a demonstration that Black Lives Matter. Our criminal justice system must now, more than ever, assure us that systemic racism is not lurking in every one of its fibers, including the grand jury process.

“The criminal justice system in the United States has long roots in white supremacy. But it is not just the criminal justice system that is infected by white supremacy. As AIDS United’s Public Policy Council said earlier this year, ‘White supremacy is all around us, and it is taxing.’

“We see it in housing. We see it in education. We see it in employment. We see it in health care. We see it in the COVID-19 pandemic. And we’ve seen it for decades in the HIV epidemic.

“That’s why AIDS United is deeply committed to infusing racial justice throughout every aspect of our work. We cannot achieve our mission of ending the HIV epidemic in the United States if we don’t.

“AIDS United is holding in our thoughts Breonna’s family and our entire Black community as well, as the community feels traumatized once again by the criminal justice system.”