Missouri Representative-elect Cori Bush said her Republican colleagues mistakenly called her “Breonna” after she wore a face mask with the name “Breonna Taylor” on it during her debut in Congress.
“A few of my Republican colleagues have called me Breonna, assuming that’s my name. It hurts. But I’m glad they’ll come to know her name & story because of my presence here,” Bush tweeted Friday. “Breonna must be central to our work in Congress.”
Taylor, 26, was killed by Kentucky police in March in a case that sparked nationwide protests against police brutality.
Bush, a progressive Democrat and longtime activist, became Missouri’s first black congresswoman earlier this month. She beat Republican Anthony Rogers to represent the state’s first congressional district. Bush, 44, made a name for herself when she led protests in Ferguson after the death of Michael Brown.
Bush told reporters the comments from her colleagues at a new House members orientation meeting were “disheartening” and “hurtful,” saying she was called “Breonna” several times.
“This has been national news for a long time. People have protested in the streets with this name and it just saddens me that people that want to be in leadership don’t know the struggles that are happening to Black people in this country,” she said.
“But it’s okay because we’ll educate and we’ll make sure that people know who she is, what she stood for,” Bush added. “That she was an award-winning EMT, you know, in her community, that she was someone who deserves justice right now.”
Louisville city officials settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Taylor’s family in September. The settlement included a $12 million payout along with several measures for police reform. None of the officers involved in the shooting at her home were charged directly in her death. One officer, however, was with endangering her neighbors after officials said he fired shots into Taylor’s apartment from outside.