She had worked at a steak and shake. She had a job driving seniors to their appointments. Now she lived her passion as a paramedic.
Her next goal was to become a nurse – and her family believed she could. They had affectionately called her “Breewayy” – because whatever she wanted, she found a way to make it happen.
The family struggles with her death months later
Months later, her family says her death still feels surreal. You described them as the glue that holds them together.
Mom and daughter grew up together and have built a close relationship that is full of funny anecdotes. She remembered her daughter’s numerous morning calls asking for her chilli recipe after her night shift at the hospital.
“Breonna would be at the grocery store at 7am … calling me like, ‘Mom, what kind of chili do I need to buy?'” She wrote. “And I would say, ‘Breonna, can you write this down because I don’t see why I have to tell you this all the time.'”
Mother and daughter also shared a passion for muscle cars and motorcycles. Taylor had just bought her dream car right before she died.
“Breonna’s all-time favorite was the Dodge Charger. She was on her second – a 2019 Dodge Charger R / T,” her mother wrote. “She was so proud of this car, it was her baby. And she has those pipes on it. It has two exhausts so you get the space!”
Claims for justice go beyond Louisville
Taylor’s death has resonated beyond Louisville.
Unlike the case of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis officer shoved him under his knee when he asked that he could not breathe, there was no video with a police camera.
Louisville has passed the “Breonna Act” which bans arrest warrants and requires officers who issue search warrants to wear body cameras.
Celebrities like Beyonce and NBA player LeBron James have joined the call for justice in their case. Oprah Winfrey put her on the cover of her magazine and posted billboards with her picture all over Louisville.
Her death is a reminder that black women suffer from law enforcement and the intersection of race and gender must be recognized, says David Stamps, assistant professor at Louisiana State University.
“Breonna Taylor, like Sandra Bland and other black women, is often relegated to the back row because the focus is typically on the systemic racism and brutality that black men face,” Stamps said. “That’s why Breonna Taylor is an icon, she reminds us that we have to #SayHerName and that all black life matters.”
Past relationships led the police to her door
Taylor’s path to happiness has not always been smooth. It contains a previous relationship with Jamarcus Glover, a suspected crack cocaine dealer. He was the reason the police went to her door that night.
A judge had approved five search warrants without knocking the day before Taylor died, court records show. They were intended for locations associated with Glover, a convicted criminal suspected of supplying a local drug house. One of the places was Taylor’s apartment.
Glover used Taylor’s place of residence as his “current home address” following an online database review on February 20. He had received mail there, an affidavit for a search warrant. It was said that a detective saw Glover arrive at Taylor’s apartment in January and leave with a package a short time later. Then he drove straight to a “well-known drug house”.
The affidavit did not document any activity related to Taylor or her March residence.
Taylor’s family lawyers said the police information was incorrect and out of date. Any mail Glover received in her apartment would have been harmless, like clothes or shoes, they said.
Her family has said that she dated Glover once but was not involved in the alleged drug operation. She had forbidden him to bring this aspect of his life into her personal life.
When police knocked on the door that night, Walker told investigators his first thought was that it was Glover. Taylor had dated him during their seven-year relationship, and he feared there might be problems.
So he grabbed a gun that he legally owns, his attorney said. When the police shots subsided, Taylor lay bleeding beside him. There were bullet holes everywhere.
A major point of contention in this case is whether the police announced their presence before breaking the door open. They found no drugs or money in Taylor’s apartment.
The road to justice may be long and complicated, says her family, but they don’t give up.
CNN’s Scott Glover, Collette Richards, Curt Devine and Drew Griffin contributed to this report