Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has called for a citywide moment of silence at 7pm tonight to honor Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Louisville woman killed by police in March, following news today that none of the officers involved in the killing will be indicted on charges directly related to her death. Grand jurors indicted just one officer with three counts of "wanton endangerment" for shooting into neighbors' homes.
Lightfoot said that the moment of silence is meant to promote a message of peace, which Taylor’s family has requested.
"In honor of the family's request for peace, I urge all Chicagoans to join me tonight at 7pm for a citywide moment of silence in honor of the life of Breonna Taylor,” Lightfoot said in a press conference held today to address the subject. "Come out on your front porch, stand in your yard or on your sidewalk or wherever you are, but please do at 7pm tonight take a moment of silence and reflection in her memory."
Earlier in the press conference, Governor J.B. Pritzker called the verdict a “gross miscarriage of justice,” a sentiment echoed by Lightfoot and later by Cook County Commissioner Toni Preckwinkle and Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton.
Taylor's murder has galvanized protests that have swept through Chicago and the rest of the U.S. over the past few months in a moment of national reckoning with racial injustice. In addition to the moment of silence tonight, officials announced in a media release that the city will take “proactive measures” for public safety over the next few days in anticipation of protests and other demonstrations. During the press conference, Lightfoot said the city plans to "notify all Chicagoans of any anticipated disruptions to [their] lives, including traffic or public transportation," though no details on closures have been released yet. The move follows the controversial decision last month to temporarily limit nighttime access to downtown by raising bridges and limiting public transportation options.
"I know that many of you will want to express yourselves in keeping with our city's long legacy of peaceful protest," Lightfoot said. "I want you to know that I support you and will do everything in my power to protect you as you voice your righteous anger."
If you'd like to receive alerts about traffic and public transportation closures, you can sign up for the city's text or email alert system at NotifyChicago.org.
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