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I am a white person who benefits from racism, says Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready

Pearl Jam portrait
(Image credit: Danny Clinch)

Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready has reacted to a Kentucky grand jury’s decision to indict only one of three Louisville police officers involved in the raid that led to 26-year-old medical worker Breonna Taylor being fatally shot.

Former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison has been charged on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree in connection with the shooting, much to the dismay of Taylor’s family and supporters who believe that all three policeman involved should be facing more serious charges.

Taylor was asleep in her Louisville apartment in the early hours of March 13 when the police entered her property with a search warrant. She was shot six times and died from her injuries. On September 15, the city of Louisville agreed to pay Taylor's family $12 million and reform police practices, but, to date, Hankison is the only policeman to have been charged, a decision which Mike McCready says is “lacking in justice.”

McCrady’s full message was relayed on Pearl Jam’s official Twitter account.

“The charging of Breonna Taylor is egregious and lacking in justice,” the guitarist states. “Wanton endangerment charges the officer for the bullets that did not hit Breonna Taylor, and does not charge the officers for the bullets that took her life. This charge does not value her life and continues to validate the broken system that does not support those most in need, especially communities of color.”

“Although I do not agree with violent protest, I am a white person who benefits from racism, and deciding what is an appropriate way for communities of color to react is not my place or the place of any other white person. What I believe my job as a white man is, is to be an ally to communities of color, work at being antiracist, and listen to help effect change for communities most in need.”

Pearl Jam recently released a video for their Gigaton track Dance Of The Clairvoyants.