Incoming lawmaker says her Breonna Taylor mask has colleagues calling her Breonna
Rep.-elect Cori Bush (D-Mo.) said Friday that wearing a mask with Breonna Taylor’s name on it at the Capitol has led to some GOP colleagues mistakenly believing that her name is Breonna.
Bush, the first Black woman to be elected to Congress from Missouri, said that she hopes to call attention to the case of Taylor, who was shot and killed by Louisville, Ky., police earlier this year during a raid on her apartment.
“It’s Day One, so I’m wearing my ‘Breonna Taylor’ mask. A few of my Republican colleagues have called me Breonna, assuming that’s my name. It hurts. But I’m glad they’ll come to know her name & story because of my presence here,” Bush tweeted.
It’s Day One, so I’m wearing my “Breonna Taylor” mask.
A few of my Republican colleagues have called me Breonna, assuming that’s my name.
It hurts. But I’m glad they’ll come to know her name & story because of my presence here.
Breonna must be central to our work in Congress.
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) November 13, 2020
Three police officers entered Taylor’s apartment while executing a no-knock search warrant on March 13 under the belief that her ex-boyfriend had been using it as a place to keep drugs and money. Neither were found in Taylor’s residence.
Taylor’s boyfriend, who was with her in the apartment at the time, opened fire because he thought the officers were intruders. The police returned fire that hit Taylor multiple times and killed her.
A grand jury in September indicted a now-former officer involved in the raid on wanton endangerment charges for shots fired in the direction of another apartment, but none of the three were charged with causing Taylor’s death.
When asked about her tweet, Bush told assembled reporters outside the freshman orientation that “I am Breonna Taylor as far as I could be a Black woman murdered, murdered in my bed tonight.”
“And it just saddens me that, that people aren’t — that people in leadership, people that want to be in leadership don’t know the struggles that are happening to Black people in this country. And it’s just disheartening and it was hurtful, absolutely hurtful. And I didn’t hear it once. I didn’t hear it twice. I heard it several times,” she said.
The district that Bush will begin representing in January includes Ferguson, Mo., where similar protests over police brutality erupted in 2014 over the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
Bush defeated incumbent Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (Mo.) in the Democratic primary earlier this year.
At least one other member of the incoming freshman class also ran into mask-related controversy on Friday.
Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) tweeted that she told her colleagues during freshman orientation that she disagreed with the rules requiring everyone to wear masks around the House side of the Capitol during the COVID-19 pandemic, describing facial coverings as “oppressive.”
Our first session of New Member Orientation covered COVID in Congress.
Masks, masks, masks….
I proudly told my freshman class that masks are oppressive.
In GA, we work out, shop, go to restaurants, go to work, and school without masks.
My body, my choice.#FreeYourFace
— Marjorie Taylor Greene (@mtgreenee) November 13, 2020
However, Greene herself complied with the rules and wore an American flag-emblazoned mask while attending freshman orientation on Friday.
—Updated at 4:25 p.m.