Newly elected congresswoman gets mistaken for Breonna Taylor by Republicans

Democratic representative-elect, Cori Bush, has called out Republican colleagues who mistook her for Breonna Taylor on her first day.

After being elected to represent the First Congressional District earlier this month, Missouri Democrat Cori Bush has revealed that several of her Republican colleagues called her Breonna Taylor after she wore a face mask bearing the late medical worker’s name during Capitol orientation week.

Over the weekend, Bush took to Twitter to call out the lawmakers for not recognising the name, which has frequently appeared across headlines and social media over the last few months. 

Cori Bush Representative breonna taylor
Photo: Michael B. Thomas via The New York Times.

“Breonna Taylor was murdered in March, and there has been protest upon protest across the country under the rallying cry of ‘Say her name,'” Bush said in a statement.

“To arrive at Congress to find out that several Republican colleagues do not know her name is not only shocking, but incredibly hurtful.”

Breonna Taylor, an award-winning EMT who worked during the beginning of the pandemic, was murdered by police in her home in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 13, after officers with a no-knock warrant broke down her door during a botched narcotics investigation. Neither 26-year-old Taylor nor her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, possessed narcotics.

Bush became the first Black Congresswoman in the history of Missouri on November 3, after winning an election victory against the 20-year incumbent, William Lacy Clay, in the Democratic primary in August. As well as being an ordained pastor, Bush has built her name locally as a Black Lives Matter activist since the 2014 Ferguson protests against the police shooting of Michael Brown.

Bush told NBC News Friday that “several” GOP members called her Breonna while she wore the mask.

“I didn’t hear it once; I didn’t hear it twice,” Bush said. “I heard it several times.”

In her statement, Bush said she would continue to enlighten her colleagues and continue “to tell Breonna’s story.”

“So I will educate, and I will make clear the consequences of the epidemic of police violence in communities like St. Louis,” she said.