Breonna Taylor: Why is Lewis Hamilton supporting her? What happened to her?

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Celebrating his win for the Tuscan Grand Prix, Mr Hamilton, 35, wore a T-shirt with the words “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” written across his torso, and a picture of Ms Taylor on his back below the words “say her name”. Her death has garnered significant attention on social media and in the press, largely in part due to protests across the US and elsewhere as a part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ms Taylor died two months after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police in May.

Last month, Mr Hamilton opened up on his experiences growing up in the UK dealing with racism and being part of a “white-dominated” sport.

The Mercedes driver has been an instrumental figure in F1’s campaigning against racism and promotion of Black Lives Matter on race weekends

Who was Breonna Taylor?

Breonna Taylor was a medical worker living in Louisville, Kentucky, when she was shot and killed when armed police officers entered her home on March 13, 2020.

Ms Taylor was only 26-years-old when she died.

Over the last several months, Ms Taylor’s family has pleaded for justice, pushing for criminal charges against the officers.

Her case has drawn national attention from celebrities and athletes, such as as the F1 driver, who have participated in social media hashtag campaigns and dedicated their seasons to keeping a spotlight on her case even as other instances of police brutality spark protests.

Progress on her case has been slow, especially in comparison to the George Floyd case, which after worldwide protests saw the arresting officers charged with his murder.

Tamika Palmer, Ms Taylor’s mother, said earlier this summer: “At this point, it’s bigger than Breonna, it’s bigger than just Black Lives.

“We’ve got to figure out how to fix the city, how to heal from here.”

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What happened to Breonna Taylor?

Shortly after midnight on March 13, 2020, Louisville police, executing a search warrant for narcotics, used a battering ram to crash into Ms Taylor’s apartment.

Ms Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were in bed asleep when they heard a loud banging at the door.

Their lawyers say the couple called out, asking who was there but did not hear a response.

The officers claim to have identified themselves as police when executing their warrant.

Mr Walker, who believed the home was being broken into, grabbed his firearm and fired a shot, which hit one of the officers in the leg.

He said on a recorded 911 call: “I don’t know what’s happening. Someone kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend.”

Ms Taylor was shot five times by the plainclothes officers and died at the scene.

The police officers fired more than 22 rounds into the apartment.

An ambulance on standby outside had been told to leave about an hour before the raid, counter to standard practice.

As officers called an ambulance back to the scene and struggled to render aid to their colleague, Ms Taylor was not given any medical attention.

It later emerged the police were looking for a suspect who was already in police custody.

According to a lawyer for Mr Walker, no drugs were found in the apartment.

Sam Aguiar, a lawyer representing Ms Taylor’s family, said: “Breonna was a woman who was figuring everything out in her life, who had turned a corner. Breonna was starting to live her best life.”

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