The Brief: By adding the phrase "arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor" to the end of seemingly mundane tweets, Twitter users share stark reminders that the fight for racial justice is far from over.
People are tweeting the phrase “arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was killed in her home by three white Louisville police officers on March 13, 2020. So far, none of the officers involved have been arrested or charged.
As momentum for racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement continues, people are using social media to demand that Breonna Taylor’s killers be held accountable. One way people are doing this is by sending tweets that start out as mundane and unrelated, but then insert the phrase “arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor.” By briefly tricking the reader into thinking that they’re reading something about the minutiae of daily life, these messages remind readers that it is not the time for social media feeds to “go back to normal,” and that racism and injustice continue. Such tweets are reminiscent of copypasta, but instead of repeating a random phrase, they serve as a rallying cry for racial justice.
T. G. I. Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor.
— Ego Nwodim (@eggy_boom) June 12, 2020
As this style of tweet grew in popularity, some people criticized the trend for turning Breonna Taylor’s death into a meme:
Y’all turning Breonna Taylor into a meme don’t sit right with me cause people will start to not take it seriously. She needs justice and not a punchline on Twitter.
— Talcum X (@evelynvwoodsen) June 13, 2020
I’m extremely worried that “Arrest Breonna Taylor’s killers” is becoming an “Epstein didn’t kill himself” level meme and that’s honestly apalling
— 5G’s Burner Account (@CineMasai_) June 13, 2020
Spaghetti Carbonara is the easiest pasta dish you will ever make with just 4 ingredients in 15 min!!!
* The Cops
* Who Killed
* Breonna Taylor
Hold these fuckers accountable then you can have your noodles.
— Lou Gonzalez Jr. (@angrylou) June 12, 2020
• Wash your hands.
• Wear a mask.
• Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor.
— Heather Barmore (@HeatherBarmore) June 12, 2020
It's a perfect morning to have a cup of coffee & arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor.
— Doth (@DothTheDoth) June 12, 2020
I’m so proud to be part of the LGBT community.
L – Let’s
G – Get the
B – Bastards who killed Breonna
T – Taylor arrested and charged.
— Ben Yahr (@benyahr) June 12, 2020
Thank God it’s:
F – arrest
R – the
I – officers
D – who
A – murdered
Y – BREONNA TAYLOR
— Yami Sukehiro (@gingfreecssson) June 12, 2020
In addition, to bait and switch tweets, many others simply repeat the phrase and quote tweet other people’s posts so that the message gets more traction and visibility within the Twitter algorithm.
— nicole byer (@nicolebyer) June 8, 2020
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) June 7, 2020
Arrest The Police That Killed Breonna Taylor!
— Jaden (@jaden) June 12, 2020