A Louisville university canceled all classes following the indictment of a police officer in the death of Breonna Taylor, telling white students to “educate yourselves on systemic racism.”
Bellarmine University president Susan Donovan notified her students that classes were dismissed, a decision that was made after “hearing from many of our students of color and their allies, and in consultation with faculty and student leadership,” Campus Reform reported.
“Regardless of how the courts handle the case, Breonna Taylor’s death reminds us that as a society we have so much more work to do to end systemic racism and move toward justice for all,” Donovan said in the letter, later writing, “the white members of our Bellarmine community to educate yourselves on systemic racism, recognize your part in it, and work toward inclusion.”
She urged her students to” continue to channel your feelings into constructive action, such as pushing for police reform, [. . .] and exercising your right to vote for candidates who share your views about the fair and equitable treatment of all people.”
“Not since the 1960s has our country seen such activism for racial justice. We must continue to press for reform and the end of inequality,” Donovan said.
A grand jury on Wednesday indicted a former Louisville, Kentucky, police officer on three counts of “wanton endangerment in the first degree” in the death of Taylor, a black woman who was killed during a raid on her home in March.
Sgt. Brett Hankison escaped more serious felony charges related to homicide from the grand jury. Wanton endangerment in the first degree is a Class D felony that carries a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison. His bail was set at $15,000.
No other police officers involved in the raid were criminally charged. Ofc. Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Johnathan Mattingly were on the scene during the shooting, and Mattingly was shot in the leg and underwent surgery after the police operation.
Ben Crump, attorney for the family of Breonna Taylor, said on Twitter that the charge was “not fully what we wanted” but added “this brings us closer to justice” for Taylor.