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UK students, faculty feel connected to Breonna Taylor case

Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 4:11 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2020 at 10:54 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Breonna Taylor was once a student at the University of Kentucky.

That’s why many UK students say they feel not only connected to the case, but to Breonna herself.

Students grabbed their phones and laptops to watch Wednesday’s announcement by the grand jury. Some were so anxious, they didn’t want their reactions on camera.

A few students told us their expectations for charges were low and they didn’t have much to say after the grand jury announced the charges.

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Khari Gardner says he feels the pain for this fellow wildcat, but says the fight to honor Breonna Taylor doesn’t end here.

“We all realize that we can expect the system who murdered her to give her justice. And we all had low expectations going in," said Khari Gardner, Movement for Black Lives UK. "We wanted the cops arrested and convicted, but it probably wasn’t going to happen and we didn’t expect Daniel Cameron to do it, I didn’t expect the grand jury to do it. So, now it’s just time to move on and we’ve got to readjust what we’re working on and we’ve got to make sure Breonna keeps getting justice in other forms.”

Some students were still processing all of the information given Wednesday.

“I don’t know what I was expecting, honestly,” Hanna Holman said.

And, for UK Law Professor Blanche Bong Cook, her jury is still out.

“I’d like a lot more evidence in this case, but I also understand that there are some real parameters here to releasing the evidence to the public," Cook said. "I understand that the prosecutors involved in the case have ethical obligations that require them to maintain some secrecy.”

Students say there aren’t any plans for protests or rallies at UK after the decision, but they still want changes to honor Breonna Taylor on campus.

Gardner is still hoping to name the Kirwin-Blanding area after Breonna Taylor.

UK President Eli Capilouto released this statement about Taylor:

“For UK, one name entails a particularly deep sense of sorrow. Breonna Taylor was a student at the University of Kentucky in 2011. She went on to serve as a health care provider, caring for those who needed it most. We mourn her loss. We grieve with her family. How do we ensure her tragic death is not forgotten? How we do better tomorrow than we have in the past? How do we do better than we are doing today?”

The university is also offering counseling for students after the decision.

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