Vi­o­lence erupts in Louisville


Lethbridge Herald - - Headline News | Weather - Dylan Lovan and Piper Hudspeth Blackburn

Hours af­ter a Ken­tucky grand jury brought no charges against Louisville po­lice for Bre­onna Tay­lor’s death and protesters took to the streets, au­thor­i­ties said two of­fi­cers were shot and wounded Wed­nes­day night dur­ing the demon­stra­tions ex­press­ing anger over the killings of Black peo­ple at the hands of po­lice.

In­terim Louisville Po­lice Chief Robert Schroeder said a sus­pect was in cus­tody but did not of­fer de­tails about whether that per­son was par­tic­i­pat­ing in the demon­stra­tions. He says both of­fi­cers are ex­pected to re­cover, and one is un­der­go­ing surgery.

He says the of­fi­cers were shot af­ter in­ves­ti­gat­ing re­ports of gun­fire at an in­ter­sec­tion where there was a large crowd.

Sev­eral shots rang out as protesters in down­town Louisville tried to avoid po­lice block­ades, mov­ing down an al­ley­way as of­fi­cers lobbed pep­per balls, ac­cord­ing to an As­so­ci­ated Press jour­nal­ist. Peo­ple cov­ered their ears, ran away and fran­ti­cally looked for places to hide. Po­lice with long guns swarmed the area, then of­fi­cers in riot gear and mil­i­tary-style ve­hi­cles blocked off road­ways.

The vi­o­lence comes af­ter prose­cu­tors said two of­fi­cers who fired their weapons at Tay­lor, a Black woman, were jus­ti­fied in us­ing force to pro­tect them­selves af­ter they faced gun­fire from her boyfriend. The only charges were three counts of wan­ton en­dan­ger­ment against fired Of­fi­cer Brett Hanki­son for shoot­ing into a home next to Tay­lor’s with peo­ple inside.

The FBI is still in­ves­ti­gat­ing po­ten­tial vi­o­la­tions of fed­eral law in con­nec­tion with the raid at Tay­lor’s home on March 13.

Ben Crump, a lawyer for Tay­lor’s fam­ily, de­nounced the de­ci­sion as “outrageous and of­fen­sive,” and protesters shout­ing, “No jus­tice, no peace!” im­me­di­ately marched through the streets.

Scuf­fles broke out be­tween po­lice and protesters, and some were ar­rested. Of­fi­cers fired flash bangs and a few small fires burned in a square that’s been at the cen­tre of protests, but it had largely cleared out ahead of a night­time cur­few as demon­stra­tors marched through other parts of down­town Louisville. Dozens of pa­trol cars blocked the city’s ma­jor thor­ough­fare and more po­lice ar­rived af­ter the of­fi­cer was shot.

Demon­stra­tors also marched in cities like New York, Chicago, Wash­ing­ton, D.C., At­lanta and Philadel­phia.

Tay­lor, an emer­gency med­i­cal worker, was shot mul­ti­ple times by white of­fi­cers who en­tered her home on a no-knock war­rant dur­ing a nar­cotics in­ves­ti­ga­tion. State At­tor­ney Gen­eral Daniel Cameron, how­ever, said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion showed the of­fi­cers an­nounced them­selves be­fore en­ter­ing. The war­rant used to search her home was con­nected to a sus­pect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside.

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