Police officer shot dead in Louisville, Ky., As protests over Breonna Taylor’s death continue

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Louisville, Kentucky, police said a police officer was shot. It is not known if the officer was shot during the protests following a grand jury decision not to lay charges against police for the murder of Breonna Taylor in a drug raid gone awry. .Police sergeant. Lamont Washington said in a press release Wednesday night that there would be an update when possible. There was no information on the officer’s condition.

The protests, which picked up steam as soon as news of the grand jury’s decision broke on Wednesday afternoon, appeared to be largely peaceful, although as the day wore on, police in uniform protection clashed with protesters in some areas and used batons to push some down. .

Officers in riot gear fired flashbangs and a few small fires burned down in a plaza that was at the center of the protests, but it had largely dissipated before a nighttime curfew and protesters marched into other parts from downtown Louisville.

Protests quickly erupted elsewhere: protesters marched through the streets of New York, Chicago, Washington, Atlanta and Philadelphia. Wrapped up in a New York City plaza, protesters chanted, “Say his name, Breonna Taylor,” before walking down the street of downtown Brooklyn, past onlookers and honking cars. They were accompanied by musicians setting a regular drum rhythm.

Police and protesters converge at a protest Wednesday in Louisville. A grand jury indicted a police officer six months after Taylor was shot dead by police. (John Minchillo / The Associated Press)

In the afternoon, Louisville officers detained at least four people sitting on the floor with their wrists tied behind them. As TV cameras broadcast the scene live, a protester pointed at an officer and shouted, “Say his name! An Associated Press reporter saw members of the National Guard and armored military vehicles in downtown Louisville.

“Yep, it’s a little extreme right now,” said Dekevion Gause, who sat next to a park memorial to Taylor made of flowers, paintings and tiny gravestones depicting black people killed by police. . “But it’s a built volcano and now it’s exploded. ”

Gause said all officers involved in the March 13 raid on Taylor’s house should have been charged with manslaughter.

“It’s kind of a slap in the face,” he said of the grand jury decision.

Gause met with dozens in Jefferson Square Park, dubbed “Injustice Square” by protesters who made it their impromptu hub for months of protests. People huddled around a single speaker on Wednesday to listen to prosecutors announce fired cop Brett Hankinson had been charged with gratuitous endangerment for shooting at the homes of Taylor’s neighbors.

WATCH | Kentucky Attorney General discusses evidence from the shooting:

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron exposes some of the evidence of Breonna Taylor’s fatal shooting after a grand jury indicted one of the three officers involved. 2:19

A grand jury laid no charges for the murder of Taylor, who was shot multiple times by police who broke into her home on March 13 in a drug raid that went awry. While there were no drugs in Taylor’s apartment, her boyfriend shot and injured a police officer. State Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the shots of the officers who killed Taylor were fired in self-defense.

Upon hearing the news, many people gathered in the square began to cry, expressing confusion and grief. Others exclaimed that they had seen it coming.

Protesters sing near police in Louisville. (Darron Cummings / The Associated Press)

Within minutes of the announcement, around 100 demonstrators marched from Jefferson Square along the downtown Sixth Street thoroughfare chanting, “No justice, no peace! ”

Many simply sat or stood in stunned silence after hearing the grand jury’s decision.

Jefferson Square became the epicenter of Louisville residents’ outrage over the murder of Taylor, who became a national symbol of racial injustice, as did George Floyd, the black man who died below the knee. a Minneapolis policeman.

Cameron, a Republican and Kentucky’s first black attorney general, insisted prosecutors followed the law even though “my heart breaks for Miss Taylor.”

“Criminal law is not meant to answer every heartache and grief,” Cameron said after the charges were announced.

For months, scores of actors, musicians, sports stars and public figures have been bluntly calling for justice in Taylor’s police murder.

Dozens of NBA players, inside and outside the Disney bubble, have sought charges for Taylor’s death and used their platforms to talk about her and place the youngster’s name. 26 year old woman in the foreground, above the sport.

“We have moms. We have sisters, nieces, aunts. And just as men of color have been through traumatic situations, so have women, ”said Boston forward Jaylen Brown. “This is an example of some of the things that happen to women in our country. So we wanted to be by their side, but also to make sure it wasn’t just us. I think the future is feminine, so it’s important to show our sisters that we care. This is why it was important. ”

Laker guard Danny Green told The Associated Press the players feel they have “taken a step back” and “haven’t made the progress we were looking for.”

People gather in Jefferson Square, near a makeshift memorial, awaiting the grand jury’s word. (Darron Cummings / The Associated Press)

“Our voices are not heard loud enough. But we are not going to stop. We will continue. We will continue to fight, we will continue to push, we will continue. to use our voices, ”he said.

Football legend Colin Kaepernick also criticized the grand jury’s decision, expressing his outrage on Twitter on Wednesday when he called for the abolition of the police.

“” The white supremacist police institution that robbed us of Breonna Taylor’s life must be abolished for the safety and well-being of our people. #BreonnaTaylor #SayHerName #AbolishThePolice, ”he said.

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