Canada's Murray plans to stay politically active through NBA Western final

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Canada's Jamal Murray is going to keep using his platform to bring attention to racial injustice as he leads his Denver Nuggets in the NBA's Western Conference final.

Murray, from Kitchener, Ont., spoke the night before Game 1 of the best-of-seven series against the Los Angeles Lakers at Walt Disney World Resort. The all-star guard has worn shoes featuring illustrations of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, two Black people killed by police, throughout the post-season and has been outspoken in interviews about the Black Lives Matter cause.

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"We don't want to lose the focus on that so we'll still wear the shirts and still have the shoes," said Murray on Thursday evening. "This is something that's bigger than me and bigger than us and we know what we need to do to create change."

Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers on March 13 after they executed a no-knock search warrant at her residence. Her boyfriend shot at the police when they knocked down the apartment's door and Taylor, asleep on the couch, was killed by police gunfire.

The city of Louisville, Ky., agreed to pay Taylor's family US$12 million and reform police practices as part of a settlement announced Tuesday.

Murray addressed the settlement during a conference call with media Thursday night.

"Breonna Taylor's family, I know it doesn't do the justice that you want, but the $12 million that they got is something," said Murray, who went to the University of Kentucky in Lexington. "I'm glad they did that in the hometown for that family.

"We're going to keep shedding light on stuff like this that needs the attention."

Murray's words echoed that of Taylor's mother.

"Please continue to say her name," said Tamika Palmer, Taylor's mother, at an emotional news conference on Tuesday, evoking the call that has become a national refrain for those outraged by the shooting and police violence.

Taylor's death sparked months of protests in Louisville and calls nationwide for the officers to be criminally charged. The state's attorney general, Daniel Cameron, is investigating police actions in the March 13 fatal shooting.

— With files from The Associated Press.

By John Chidley-Hill in Toronto.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 17, 2020.

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