Tamika Palmer, the mother of Breonna Taylor, penned an open letter to President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden: Democrats' spending plan is 'a bigger darn deal' than Obamacare Biden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Biden: Comment that DOJ should prosecute those who defy subpoenas 'not appropriate' MORE calling on him to follow through on his pledge to hold police accountable once he takes office in the coming weeks.
“For many Americans, a vote for you was a vote for Breonna, Jacob Blake, Casey Goodson and so many others who have been failed repeatedly by the criminal justice system under the current administration,” she writes in the letter, which was published in The Washington Post on Tuesday.
“These victims could not vote for you, so millions of us did so on their behalf. Now, we need you to fight for Breonna and for the other families that have joined the sad sisterhood and brotherhood of people who have lost loved ones to police violence,” she continued.
“Actions speak louder than words. We need your actions to show that you are different than those who pay lip service to our losses while doing nothing to show that our loved ones’ lives mattered,” she wrote.
In the letter, Palmer specifically calls on Biden to hold “true to [his] promises” by “appointing people to the Department of Justice (DOJ) with a proven record of holding police accountable” and ordering the department “to reopen investigations into police violence not properly completed before the Obama administration ended.”
She also called on the Biden administration to order “large scale federal investigations into cases of police brutality, like the shootings of Jacob Blake, Casey Goodson” and her daughter’s case, as well as “stopping police brutality before it happens by ordering robust pattern and practice investigations into police departments known to cause harm across the country.”
Palmer also invoked a conversation she shared with Biden earlier this year, in which she said the former vice president assured her that he was “committed to justice for Breonna.”
“That call inspired me and gave me hope during a very dark time. Nothing can bring back my daughter, or the other individuals whose lives were senselessly harmed or lost to police violence,” she wrote.
“We can, however, honor their legacies by holding police accountable and bringing deep change to a truly unjust system. We fought for you. It is now your turn to fight for us,” she added.
The Hill has reached out to Biden’s transition team for comment.
During his campaign, Biden pushed for Congress to pass legislation aimed at police reform and addressing racial inequality as President TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE doubled down on calls for law and order while exercising military force in a crackdown on demonstrations prompted by the police killing of George Floyd.
In the months following the death of Floyd, Taylor and other Black Americans by the hands of police, Biden also released a plan geared toward strengthening the nation’s commitment to justice and reforming its criminal justice system.
The plan outlined a number of tasks Biden vowed to set his sights on tackling in an effort to “create a more just society” once he assumes power, including “preventing crime and providing opportunities for all,” “eliminating racial disparities and ensuring fair sentences,” “offering second chances” and “reducing violence in our communities and supporting survivors of violence.”
Among other vows laid out in the plan, Biden also pledged to “appoint Justice Department leadership who will prioritize the role of using pattern-or-practice investigations to strengthen our justice system” in a bid to help “root out unconstitutional or unlawful policing.”
Though a little more than a month remains until Biden is set to take office on Jan. 20, he has already been facing pressure from civil rights groups and advocates to make tackling racial inequality one of his top priorities as soon as he assumes office.