01 August 2020

Oprah Winfrey puts Breonna Taylor on the front cover of her ‘O’ magazine as ‘historic’ tribute to victim of police shooting

Oprah Winfrey is dedicating the cover of her eponymous ‘O’ magazine to a portrait of  Breonna Taylor, the 26 year-old shot dead by police in her own home.

It is the first time in the publication’s 20-year history that Ms Winfrey, 66, has not appeared on the cover.

Taylor, a black emergency medical technician, was killed by police in March as officers carried out a no-knock warrant for a drugs case in Louisville.

Announcing her gesture on Twitter, Ms Winfrey said: "Breonna Taylor. She was just like you. And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. 

"Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter. Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. 

"And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem. What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice. 

“And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of O magazine. I cry for justice in her name.”

The cover was designed by digital artist Alexis Franklin, who said: "The original photo is one Breonna took herself and has been featured in the news many times.

"Looking at it, I see an innocence, simple but powerful. It was critical for me to retain that. And there was a sparkle in Breonna's eyes—a young Black woman posing in her Louisville EMS shirt, happy to be alive."

The September edition of ‘O’ is available from August 11.

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