Creators of an app want the name Breonna Taylor to conjure up more than visions of a young woman killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2020 in a late-night raid of her apartment, reports NBC News. Tap on the “Breonna’s Garden” app and you see her contagious smile, perfectly coiffed hair and joyful eyes. You hear the refrain from Mary J. Blige’s “Everything,” the song Taylor planned to play at her wedding to boyfriend Kenny Walker.
In augmented reality, Taylor is alive, laughing with relatives, being kissed by her mother, bouncing in a car with her cellphone in her hand, standing and grinning, with her arm draped over her sister’s shoulder.
“Because of the injustice and the trauma around it, for her family, we can’t lose the memory of her life,” said Lady Pheønix, creative director and founder of of “Breonna’s Garden.”
“The news media will never let you forget … that Breonna Taylor was brutally shot. It’s our responsibility to continue to say her name and change the energy of her name out in public.”
To paint a fuller picture of Taylor after her death, her younger sister, Ju’Niyah Palmer, began posting photos and videos of her on Instagram doing regular things, like dancing and singing behind a Snapchat filter. Palmer was grieving out loud while also vowing that her sister’s name would be more than a national cry for justice or a news story about a 26-year-old emergency room technician being killed by police executing a “no-knock” warrant for her ex-boyfriend on drug charges.
Lady Pheønix, who is based in Sacramento, California, noticed the Instagram posts and reached out to Palmer in September 2020, suggesting the creation of a digital tribute to Taylor. Palmer was suspicious but her mother encouraged her to respond.
“My mom said these types of opportunities don’t come all the time and that something like that hadn’t been done,” said Palmer, who said she also sometimes receives hate messages from strangers online.