Kentucky Derby could face protests over Breonna Taylor death: reports

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America’s most famous horse race is set to take place on Saturday, months after the coronavirus forced a postponement of its traditional May date.

But the Kentucky Derby in Louisville could be disrupted by protesters seeking to keep public attention on the Breonna Taylor shooting case, according to reports.

“No justice, no Derby! Some members of the crowd shouted Friday night outside the downtown Louisville office of the Kentucky Derby Festival, the Courier Journal of Louisville reported.

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A group called Until Freedom has called for the cancellation of Saturday’s race, Louisville FOX station WDRB-TV reported.

Racing “so that horses could run for the entertainment of the rich and famous” represented “serious hypocrisy,” Tamika Mallory, co-founder of the group, told the station.

“Meanwhile, Breonna Taylor’s body and blood are in your hands,” she added.

Taylor, 26, was fatally shot on March 13 when police carried out a “smooth” drug raid on her apartment. She was unarmed and her supporters argued for months that the police officers involved in the case should face criminal charges for her death.

A detective has since been fired in connection with the shooting, which is still under investigation.

On Saturday, marches and rallies to support Taylor’s family are planned in downtown Louisville and outside Churchill Downs, the racetrack home to the legendary horse race which is one of three annual events in the Triple Crown of sport.

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Crowds gathered in downtown Louisville on Friday for what the Courier Journal reported to be the 100th day of protests against the Taylor shooting.

Protesters pointed to Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Kentucky State Attorney General Daniel Cameron saying they had not done enough to resolve the Taylor case any faster. Fischer, 62, is a Democrat, while Cameron, 34, is a Republican.

“The mayor does not intervene and does not do his job. Daniel Cameron is not stepping up and doing his job, ”Anna Harrison, a woman who regularly provides food for protesters, told the Courier Journal.

Nonetheless, she said, “People keep walking. They don’t give up, they don’t back down. They are on a mission. And their mission won’t be accomplished until they get the justice Breonna deserves.

Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, filed a lawsuit against the city of Louisville and its police department on Tuesday.

Taylor, a legal gun owner, had shot officers when they executed the no-knock warrant at Taylor’s home, later telling authorities he assumed the officers were invaders trying to commit theft.

A charge of attempted murder against Taylor was later dropped. But he alleges in his trial that the indictment “was intended to silence and conceal Breonna’s murder.”

Luis Saez rides maximum safety, right, across the finish line first against Flavien Prat on Country House in the 145th Annual Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., May 4, 2019 (Associated Press )

Taylor firing his gun was the action that prompted police to fire the shots that killed Taylor, authorities said.

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Taylor supporters note, however, that one officer, Detective Brett Hankison, was fired in June for “indiscriminately” firing 10 shots during the raid. Neither Hankison nor two other officers who allegedly fired – Sgt. Jon Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove – have faced charges in this case.

Saturday’s Kentucky Derby will go without spectators due to the coronavirus, after officials previously announced that a limited number of fans would be admitted. Saturday’s event will be the 146th edition of the race.

Fox News’s Vandana Rambaran contributed to this story.

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