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Public hearing set to discuss renaming Monroe Center after Breonna Taylor

WZZM-TV Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek logo WZZM-TV Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek 9/16/2020 13 ON YOUR SIDE Staff
a group of people on a city street © Provided by WZZM-TV Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek

At Tuesday night's city commission meeting, city leaders agreed to set a public hearing to discuss renaming Monroe Center Street NW in downtown Grand Rapids after Breonna Taylor.

Taylor is a Grand Rapids native who was fatally shot by police in Louisville. 

The public hearing will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. This follows a petition to rename the street in honor of Taylor gained nearly 4,000 signatures. 

RELATED: Petition started to rename downtown Grand Rapids street in honor of Breonna Taylor

Taylor's death received renewed attention after George Floyd's death put police brutality and killings in the national spotlight. In Grand Rapids, a protest was organized in her honor, and a 24-hour vigil was set up on Monroe Center Street on her June 5 birthday.  

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Also on Tuesday, the city of Louisville and attorney's for Taylor's family announced a $12 million settlement.  Taylor's cousin Tawanna Gordon believes the settlement is a step in the right direction.

"Even though they don't want to admit they had any wrong doing, no city is paying that amount of money to any one family if there was something you didn't do or something you could have done to not have that situation occur," says Gordon.

Gordon wants the officers involved to be held responsible but she is encouraged by some of the police reform announced Tuesday relating to search warrants.

"I think that not only Louisville but the entire state of Kentucky and every state in the US needs to change in order to make sure that people are safe," says Gordon.

Monroe Center Street is one of the main stretches in downtown Grand Rapids, and it has been the origin point for several protests over the summer. Rosa Parks Circle was originally called Campau Square. It was renamed in 2001 to honor the Civil Rights icon. 

After the public hearing, the topic of renaming the street will go back to the city commission for a vote at a future meeting. 

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