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Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri calls Tampa Bay Rays' tweet calling for justice for Breonna Taylor 'inaccurate'

Posted at 1:14 AM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 05:02:01-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Pinellas County Sheriff had strong words for the Tampa Bay Rays after the team sent out an impactful tweet on Opening Day last week.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said in a statement that he was disappointed in the "inaccuracy" of the Rays' social media post.

Last Friday, the Rays tweeted, "Today is Opening Day, which means it’s a great day to arrest the killers of Breonna Taylor."

Tampa Bay Rays: 'Arrest the killers of Breonna Taylor'

While Gualtieri acknowledges that Taylor's death was wrong, he was not pleased with the Louisville police officers being called murderers.

Below is a statement released by Gualtieri:

"The killing of Breonna Taylor was wrong and avoidable. We have policies at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office that would not allow that situation to occur. The facts show that Louisville officers acted under a judge’s warrant and were within department protocols.

The Tampa Bay Rays’ tweet referring to the officers as murderers and calling for the officers’ arrest ignored those facts. I conveyed my disappointment in the inaccuracy of the post."

Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old Black woman who was fatally shot by police in Louisville, Kentucky who executed a "no-knock" warrant. Taylor was asleep when officers stormed into her home.

Taylor's death from March 2020, along with George Floyd's death, became the center of many protests across the country and in the Tampa Bay area. Their deaths reopened nationwide discussions on police brutality and systemic racism.

In addition to calling for justice for Breonna Taylor, the Rays pledged to donate $100,000 to CDC Of Tampa, Pinellas County Urban League, Equal Justice Initiative, NAACP Hillsborough and People Empowering and Restoring Communities (PERC).