A compilation of six decades of protest portraits show why we need abolition to end police violence on civilians. It’s not just notable victims like Breonna Taylor.

By Anna Blake, Scalawag

It’s hard to believe only—and somehow, already—two years have passed since Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove forced themselves, in plainclothes with a no-knock warrant, into the apartment on Elliot Ave in Louisville where they shot and killed  26-year-old Breonna Taylor.

News of her murder spread exponentially, eventually coming to a fever pitch following the murder of George Floyd two months later, some 700 miles away in Minneapolis. Suddenly, our city, once only known for horses, bourbon, and disco balls, became a hotbed of protests as activists and communities across the city gathered calling for justice for Breonna Taylor.

police violence

None of us bore witness to the negligent and violent events that took place in those early morning hours of March 13, 2020, but we don’t have to: Photographs taken in Louisville during the protests of 2020 reveal to us the fascist nature of the police state we live in.

Filmmaker and activist Susan Sontag, in her 1977 collection of essays On Photography, claims that “to take a picture is to have an interest in things as they are, in the status quo remaining unchanged.”

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