Lewis Hamilton wears T-shirt calling for the arrest of police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor as he arrives at the Tuscan Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton wore a T-shirt calling for the arrest of the police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor as he arrived at Italy’s Tuscan Grand Prix on Sunday.
The 35-year-old driver was seen arriving at the Mugello Circuit donning the black T-shirt, which was emblazoned with the words ‘Arrest the cops who killed Brenna Taylor’, while the back showed a picture of face below the words ‘say her name’.
Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was fatally shot eight times by Louisville Metro Police in Kentucky as they served a no-knock warrant at her apartment on March 13 and opened fire.
Message: Lewis Hamilton wore a T-shirt calling for the arrest of the police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor as he arrived at Italy’s Tuscan Grand Prix on Sunday
Police descended on Taylor’s apartment that night after securing a court-approved warrant as part of a drugs investigation that allowed officers to enter her home without any prior warning.
The suspect at the centre of the probe had apparently lived at the same address years earlier and continued to receive packages there.
Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker had been sleeping in bed when the officers served the warrant at around 1am.
Say her name: His T-shirt was emblazoned with the words ‘Arrest the cops who killed Brenna Taylor’, while the back showed a picture of face below the words ‘say her name’
Believing they were soon to be victims of a home invasion, Walker, a licensed gun owner, fired a shot into the direction of the doorway, striking Sergeant John Mattingly in the leg.
Officer Brett Hankinson then returned fire, discharging his weapon in the direction of Walker 10 times. Mattingly and Cosgrove also opened fire. Taylor was hit eight times and pronounced dead at the scene.
Taylor’s death’s received national attention two months later, following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police in May.
Floyd died gasping for breathe under the knee of Derek Chauvin in May. His final words, ‘I can’t breathe’ became the rallying cry of thousands of demonstrators who took to the streets across the globe to protest against racism and police brutality.
Scooter: The Mercedes driver was seen riding a scooter on the grounds hours before the race
It was recently reported that the Kentucky Attorney General is set to announce whether criminal charges will be filed against the Louisville Metro Police Department officers involved in Taylor’s shooting.
Last month, Lewis Hamilton opened up on his experiences growing up in the UK dealing with racism and being part of a ‘white dominated’ sport.
The Mercedes driver has been an instrumental figure in F1’s campaigning against racism and promotion of the Black Lives Matter movement on race weekends.
Hamilton spoke with footballing legend Thierry Henry and Olympic great Tommie Smith – in a chat organised by Puma – to discuss racism they experienced in sport between three different generations.
Tragedy: Breonna Taylor, 26, pictured, died in the early hours of March 13 after cops raided her home in Louisville, Kentucky, where they shot her eight times
Racism: Formula 1 champ Lewis recently opened up on his experiences growing up with racism
Hamilton said: ‘I’m in a sport which is white dominated and there is very little diversity, for example. And with everything that happened in the states, it really brought up a lot of emotions for me.
‘A lot of people think it is only happening in the states. Yes, there is the police brutality in the states but systemic racism is across the world.
‘Very much in Europe and England. I experienced that a lot growing up in the UK and then when I started driving race cars.
‘This year it has come around and I have got the sport now to acknowledge that it needs to do more.’
Battle: Hamilton has been an instrumental figure in Formula One’s support to end racism
BLM: The Mercedes driver has been active in his support for the Black Lives Matter movement
The Mercedes driver also opened up on his early days in driving as a junior, when he and his father would be the only black people on the race scene.
He added: ‘When I was going to those races as a kid, we were the only black people on the race scene.
‘I don’t know if you have seen Cool Runnings but there is a scene where they arrive at the top of the hill and I don’t think they have ever seen black people up there before and that was always how it was with me and my Dad.
‘Particularly when we first started and how that felt, I was always fortunate I could lean back on my dad.’
Early days: The Mercedes driver also opened up on his early days in driving as a junior, when he and his father would be the only black people on the race scene