NBA superstar LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers teammates wore customized “Make America Great Again” hats to Tuesday night’s playoff game against the Portland Trail Blazers, making a statement about the death of Breonna Taylor, Business Insider reported.
The hats had “great again” crossed out, with text added underneath, so the hats said, “Make America Arrest the Cops who Killed Breonna Taylor.” The message is a reference to the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department shooting of Taylor while serving a no-knock drug warrant in March.
“You know the situation that’s going on in Louisville, Kentucky,” James told reporters after the game, which the Lakers lost. “An innocent woman being killed, by the name of Breonna Taylor. A woman who had a bright future. Her life was taken away from her. There’s been no arrests, there’s been no justice, not only for her, but for her family. We want to continue to shed light on that situation because it’s just unjust. That’s what it’s about.”
Taylor’s death occurred on March 13, but wasn’t widely publicized nationally until May when it made national headlines shortly after video of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia was released to the public. Although one of the three officers involved in the Taylor shooting has been fired, no charges have been filed and the investigation is ongoing.
LMPD officers had a no-knock warrant for Taylor based on her suspected involvement with drug trafficking. When they entered the home in the middle of the night, Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker, a legal gun owner, fired one shot at the officers, who responded by shooting back more than 20 times.
Walker was not hurt, but Taylor was shot eight times and died at the scene. Walker was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, but those charges were later dropped. He has told investigators he believed a home invasion was taking place, and didn’t know he was shooting at police officers. The officers were not in uniform.
Protests have been taking place in Louisville for months as people demand criminal charges against the officers. However, some legal experts believe that it will be difficult to bring charges against officers who only fired their weapons after being shot at first.
“The young man shot at them,” said Louisville lawyer and former judge Aubrey Williams, according to The Washington Post. Williams is a former head of the Louisville NAACP. “Whether he knew who they were or not, he shot at them. And at that point, the officers have every reason to shoot back. They are trained to defend themselves, and that is what they did.”