Tensions have been high in the United States since the murder of George Floyd was saw by millions. From protests, riots, town hall meetings and more a lot of people have been involved in getting justice for all who have discriminated against.
Shortly after Minneapolis fought for George Floyd’s justice, Lousiville, Kentucky residents took to the streets for 26-year old Breonna Taylor. Taylor was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Officers in her residence back on March, 13 this year.
I interviewed current college student-athlete and Black Student Union member Maya Vasta. She drove to Lousiville for protests. Check out the full interview below and shout out to Maya for being on the front lines and representing Breonna Taylor and the countless other names who have been tragically killed to law enforcement.
Please give an introduction and a short background of yourself?
My name is Maya Vasta. I am from Forest Park, GA and I’m studying Statistics and Data Sciences with a minor in Sociology at The College of Wooster in Ohio. I am a dedicated track & field athlete and am a member of the BSA (Black Student Association) on campus.
26-year-old Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police back in March when they executed a search warrant at her apartment. How did you feel about that when you heard the news? Were there any protests before this one you did that happened?
When I heard about Breonna Taylor’s story, I was severely disappointed, but not surprised. It seems to be so frequent now that police make mistakes and another black life is wrongfully taken. The only protests I can recall were in response to getting justice for George Floyd, but I did not know of any that were specifically supporting justice for Breonna Taylor.
What made you participate in the protests? Was it planned or a last-minute decision by you?
I was already planning on going to a protest on Saturday (5/30/2020), but I was scrolling through my twitter and saw that Louisville was getting live coverage of a protest that was happening right then. I hurried up to get dressed, grabbed my poster, and drove to downtown Louisville. It was definitely a spontaneous, last-minute decision.
How did it feel to protest against and be a part of history?
It was terrifying, but I did not allow my fear to hold me back for standing up for what is right. Especially considering that the people who have been murdered by the police were also scared, fear, to me, was not a valid reason anymore to stay home. I am proud to have been a part of something that will be talked about for years to come and will hopefully contribute to much-needed change.
What was the craziest thing you saw during the protest? At any moment did you fear for your life from the cop’s behavior?
The craziest thing I saw was when they were moving that huge EMS truck right in front of me. I honestly thought they were going to tip it over. I did fear for my life after the shots were fired. I was pushed to the ground because everyone was trying to get down so as to not get shot. I tried to get up to run and was approached by two cops in full body armor screaming at me to get down. Considering all I was wearing was tights and a windbreaker, I was pretty shaken up by that.
What are some helpful tips for people who want to protest? Also, what would you recommend to bring?
Definitely wear a mask! I know the racial issues are pressing to the point that we can forget we are still in a pandemic, but it is still important. I also would suggest wearing things that are comfortable and do not have big logos on them.
Don’t make it easier for someone to identify you wearing clothes that can be specifically described. It’s easier to find a “black female with a blue Nike hoodie” than it is to find a “black female with a black hoodie”.
As this moves forward where do you see this ending up? Some people say a race war, others say nothing will change, some people think this is the beginning of justice for police brutality.
I think history is just repeating itself and no resolution has come from it yet, but it is possible that this time things will start to change. We have been screaming for change for hundreds of years; hopefully protesting now says how enough is enough. The pressure we apply has to change something or else the entire US is about to go up in flames.
Last but not least please give your shoutouts and where can people follow you at???!!
My Instagram is @v1be5!