Popstar Rihanna has criticised Daniel Cameron, Kentucky’s attorney general, over his decision not to charge any officers with the killing of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was gunned down during a bungled raid on her home in March.
“I’m just gon’ sic let this sink into your hollow skull,” the Barbados-born singer wrote in an Instagram post in which Mr Cameron was tagged, next to a picture of a sign that read: “A cop shot a black woman and was only charged for the shots missed!”
Rihanna, 32, published the post on Friday, two days after Mr Cameron, 34, announced that none of the three officers involved in Taylor’s death would be charged with killing her.
It came after Mr Cameron, a Republican reportedly on president Trump’s list of candidates to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the late Supreme Court justice, had called on the public to ignore celebrities’ commments on the Taylor case.
“There will be celebrities, influencers and activists who having never lived in Kentucky will try to tell us how to feel, suggesting they understand the facts of this case, that they know our community and the Commonwealth better than we do, but they don’t,” Mr Cameron said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Actresses Viola Davis, Kerry Washington and Yara Shahidi were among some of the other high profile figures to condemn Mr Cameron’s decision, which sparked protests in Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia and Washington as activists called for more serious charges against the officers involved.
There were also protests in Taylor’s hometown of Louisville, where two police officers got shot.
One of the policemen involved Taylor’s killing, Brett Hankinson, has been charged with first-degree “wanton endangerment” for firing rounds into a neighbouring house. Sergeant John Mattingly and detective Myles Cosgrove, the two other officers, will face no charges, a grand jury decided.
Taylor’s family branded the decision a “sham”. Speaking to NBC Today on Thursday, family lawyer Ben Crump said “nothing seems to say Breonna mattered,” adding that the Kentucky grand jury carried-out a probe that did not give “Breonna Taylor a voice”.
Taylor, a hospital emergency room technician, was shot at least six times after the burst through her door searching for drugs. The warrant used was connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside. The use of no-knock warrants have since been banned by Louisville’s Metro Council.
When the officers entered the property, reportedly without announcing themselves as police, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, discharged a firearm. He later told authorities he thought he and his partner were being burgled. After Mr Walker fired, officers returned gunshots.
Delivering Wednesday’s decision, Mr Cameron said the fatal bullet was fired by Mr Cosgrove, but added that Mr Cosgrove and Mr Mattingly were justified in the use of force because they were shot at first. Mr Cameron said state law “bars us from seeking charges in Breonna Taylor’s death”.
Taylor’s name has become a rallying cry for demonstrators across the US demanding and end to police brutality and calling for greater race equality.