call to action turned into a criticized meme

Arrest The Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor

Part of a series on Death of Breonna Taylor. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jun 17, 2020 at 04:15AM EDT by andcallmeshirley.

Added Jun 15, 2020 at 11:09AM EDT by Adam.

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About

Arrest The Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor is a call to action amongst activists demanding the arrest of the police officers who shot Breonna Taylor while she slept after entering her home on a "no-knock" search warrant. As calls for the arrest spread on Twitter, some users began adding the phrase as a non-sequitur punchline in tweets, a la Epstein Didn't Kill Himself, leading to backlash online from people who felt the issue was too serious to be used as a meme.

Origin

On March 13th, 2020, three Louisville police officers entered the home of Breonna Taylor on a "no-knock" search warrant using a battering ram while she slept. Her boyfriend Kenneth Walker shot at the police, believing they were burglars, and police fired into the home, killing Breonna Taylor. The officers were executing a drug warrant and were given permission from a judge to use the no-knock warrant; however, the suspect in the case had been already been apprehended more than 10 miles away. The officers--Jon Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hankison--have been placed on administrative leave.[1]

Amidst the George Floyd Protests, as protesters around the country called for the arrest of Derek Chauvin, the officer who killed Floyd, people argued the officers who killed Breonna Taylor should also be arrested. Tweets using the phrase "Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor" began appearing on June 1st, 2020 (examples shown below).


Lindsay Katai @lindsaykatai Unless politicians start saying "arrest the other three cops" and "arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor," their words are less than useless. 2:32 PM 路 Jun 1, 2020 路 Twitter for iPhone Foxycodone @ketaminedream Ok now arrest the cops who killed Breonna and David. Curtis Protect the Free Press Tate @tatecurtis 路 Jun 1 The Louisville mayor just fired the police chief. 6:06 PM 路 Jun 1, 2020 路 Twitter for iPhone

Spread

On June 5th, 2020, Twitter users participated in a lengthy Twitter chain started by user @JerichoBrown[3] wherein they would tweet "Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor" while quote-tweeting another Twitter user who tweeted the same thing.[2]


Hannah Grace @sdrawkcabhannah Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor. Jericho Brown @jerichobrown 路 Jun 5 Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor. 10:51 PM 路 Jun 5, 2020 路 Twitter for Android Jericho Brown @jerichobrown Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor. 4:27 PM 路 Jun 5, 2020 路 Twitter Web App

Later that week, Twitter users began using the phrase as a non-sequitur punchline in tweets. For example, user @HeatherBarmore[4] tweeted, "Goodnight. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor," gaining over 29,000 retweets and 99,000 likes (shown below, left). User @kashanacauley[5] tweeted, "It鈥檚 beautiful and sunny with a light breeze and a chill, laid back feel that makes it the perfect day to arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor," gaining over 4,200 retweets and 14,000 likes (shown below, right).


Heather Barmore @HeatherBarmore Goodnight. 鈥 Wash your hands. 鈥 Wear a mask. 鈥 Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor. 9:52 PM 路 Jun 11, 2020 路 Twitter for iPhone Kashana @kashanacauley It's beautiful and sunny with a light breeze and a chill, laid back feel that makes it the perfect day to arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor. 3:00 PM 路 Jun 11, 2020 路 Twitter for iPhone

The non-sequitur tweets were criticized by others who argued that turning the call to action into a meme was counter-productive. User @oatmilk40[6] tweeted, "Tired of y鈥檃ll making her death into memes and quirky tweets," gaining over 8,900 retweets and 42,000 likes (shown below, left). User @yahboyantman[7] tweeted, "the meme-ification of Breonna Taylor鈥檚 death and how widespread it immediately became is simply fucking horrifying. a person鈥檚 lost life isn鈥檛 your tweet fodder you absolute weirdos," gaining over 120 retweets and 350 likes (shown below, right).


sara @oatmilk40 Tired of y'all making her death into memes and quirky tweets Desto @undeefeated__路 Jun 11 My Name Is Junie B Jones And The B Stands For Breonna Taylor Killers Need To Be Locked The F--- Up Show this thread 11:41 PM 路 Jun 12, 2020 路 Twitter for iPhone > frankie @yahboyantman the meme-ification of Breonna Taylor's death and how widespread it immediately became is simply f------ horrifying. a person's lost life isn't your tweet fodder you absolute weirdos. 3:01 PM 路 Jun 13, 2020 路 Twitter for iPhone

Various Examples


Jhaunay-Amanie Hernandez @jhaunay white "allies" turning breonna taylor's murder into a meme under the guise of awareness does not sit right in my spirit 2:29 PM 路 Jun 13, 2020 路 Twitter for iPhone 5G's Burner Account @CineMasai_ I'm extremely worried that "Arrest Breonna Taylor's killers" is becoming an "Epstein didn't kill himself" level meme and that's honestly apalling 9:40 PM 路 Jun 12, 2020 路 Twitter for iPhone Isa 4 Life of the Party DND @EvilCleverDog Breonna Taylor isn't a f------ meme. She was a real person who was brutally murdered in her own home while she was SLEEPING. Spreading the word is important but please don't turn her into a goddamn meme. 3:27 AM 路 Jun 14, 2020 路 Twitter Web App SCAM GODDESS @Divalaci Can anybody recommend a good work out where they arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor? 1:28 AM 路 Jun 13, 2020 路 Twitter for iPhone ...... Bloodborne @BloodborneGame The PC gaming show is today! You know what that means: Arrest the cops who murdered Breonna Taylor 8:22 AM 路 Jun 13, 2020 路 Twitter for iPhone J'na Jefferson @jnajefferson T- Thank G- God |- It's F- Find The Cops That Killed Breonna Taylor and Arrest Them Immediately 7:02 PM 路 Jun 12, 2020 路 Twitter Web App

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