On March 13, Breonna Taylor was shot several times by members of the Louisville Metro Police Department in her own home while she and her boyfriend were sleeping.
Immediately, the internet was in an outrage. Between the initial event and now, numerous protests have begun in Taylor’s name and in the names of many other Black citizens who were brutalized and shot and killed by the police.
These protests and outcries have resulted in the unanimous passing of “Breonna’s Law” by Louisville Metro Council, which outlaws “no knock” warrants. These calls to action also resulted in the firing of Officer Brett Hankison and a 12 million dollar settlement to the family of Taylor in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Despite these changes, the public was waiting to see if the officers who were involved in Taylor’s death would be charged for murder after her case finally was taken to a grand jury.
On Sept. 23, the grand jury indicted Hankison on the endangerment of Taylor’s neighbors for the shots that were fired through the wall and into the neighbors’ homes when officers were shooting at Taylor. None of the officers involved in the killing of Taylor were charged with murder.
After the decision was made, many Albion community members felt it in their hearts to fight for what they believed was right: social change and justice for Black lives.
Jerry Lashley, an Albion resident, along with Santrell Perez, an Albion community member, is the co-founder of Albion Standing, a group that is designated to bring awareness surrounding racial inequities in Albion and nationwide. According to Lashley, the group was founded after the death of George Floyd and was given the name Albion Standing to show solidarity with the community.
“We are a diverse group of individuals who are committed to seeking racial equity and social justice in Albion, surrounding communities and on a national level,” said Lashley via Facebook Messenger.
The passion behind Albion Standing mirrors the fights and protests of Black Lives Matter as an organization and a nationwide movement.
“We believe in bringing to light the social and judicial inequities in our city and the nation. And we demand change,” said Lashley. “We aspire to dismantle systemic racism at an everyday level.”
Albion Standing is new to the activist scene, but its demands for action and change reflect years of fights against systemic oppression and racism, which have affected many communities, including the Albion community itself.
“After the murder of George Floyd, Santrell and I felt compelled to bring the national call for action to a local level,” said Lashley. “Albion Standing began under the mission of Black Lives Matter, but recently we decided to make it centered around the Albion community while still addressing national issues.”
Since Breonna Taylor’s case decision, Albion Standing has taken to the streets. Members have been protesting and demanding the abolishment of injustice and white privilege.
“We aspire to dismantle white supremacy and be proactively anti-racist by demanding open and candid conversations,” said Lashley.
Albion Standing has a list of several demands that they continue to articulate and fight for everyday.
“These demands are the beginning of the long over-due process of addressing and dismantling a racist system of policing within communities of color, especially the Black community,” said Lashley.
Over the summer videos, pictures and stories of the brutal mistreatment of Black people have circulated the internet. Albion Standing feels an obligation to call attention to this mistreatment and address it on a community level.
“After the video of the brutal beating of a mentally impaired and handcuffed Black adolescent by a former ADPS officer last year, Albion now needs to be proactively anti-racist to ensure Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Aubrey and George Floyd type murders do not occur in this community,” said Lashley.
Albion Standing is loud, proud and grounded in their fight.
“This time for change is now, and Albion Standing is going to be there until that change comes into fruition,” said Lashley. “No lip service. We demand change.”