Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press
LeBron James and his teammates wore the hats which had the original message crossed out to read, “Make America Arrest the Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor”:
Taylor was a Black woman from Louisville, Kentucky, who was shot and killed by police officers in March during a no-knock search warrant in which her family said police did not identify themselves before breaking down the door and firing into her apartment. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired one shot toward police before they returned fire, though Walker said he and Taylor did not know who was breaking into the apartment.
Taylor was shot at least eight times, and police found no evidence Taylor was involved in the drug trafficking ring for which the search warrant was issued. Her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the three officers involved, Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly. Hankison was fired in June, but Cosgrove and Mattingly remain employed by the Louisville police department and none of the officers have been arrested or charged in Taylor’s killing.
Along with the killing of George Floyd, Taylor’s killing helped spur massive protests against police brutality around the country and the world.
The WNBA dedicated the 2020 season to Taylor, while players have worn jerseys with her name on it.
NBA players have also focused on social justice throughout the NBA restart, including wearing league-approved phrases such as “Black Lives Matter” on the back of jerseys. The Lakers’ statement is another example of the league pushing for justice.