Pro­test­ers defy cur­few again

Bangkok Post - - WORLD -

LOUISVILLE: More than 1,000 peo­ple de­fied a sec­ond night of cur­few in the US city of Louisville to protest over the lack of crim­i­nal charges in the po­lice killing of Bre­onna Tay­lor, with some seek­ing refuge in a church.

Two of­fi­cers were shot dur­ing clashes in Louisville a day ear­lier, af­ter au­thor­i­ties an­nounced a grand jury had de­cided not to charge any­one in con­nec­tion with the death of Tay­lor, a 26-year-old black woman shot dead in her apart­ment by po­lice ear­lier this year.

“Un­til we af­ford black peo­ple the ba­sic rights promised by our founders — life, lib­erty and the pur­suit of hap­pi­ness — and end the ram­page of the devil of racism, we will know no peace,” her fam­ily’s lawyer, Ben Crump, said in The Wash­ing­ton Post.

Over a thou­sand peo­ple protested on Thurs­day evening in the city cen­tre, much of which was closed to traf­fic, with sev­eral shops boarded up in an­tic­i­pa­tion of more vi­o­lence.

“No way can we be peace­ful any longer,” said Michael Pyles, a 29-yearold black man who said he had been protest­ing for 120 days and had a 9mm hand­gun on his hip.

“We’re out here to pro­tect our peo­ple and the peo­ple who sup­port us. We are un­der at­tack.”

With a 9pm to 6.30am cur­few in place over the week­end, about a hun­dred pro­test­ers in vi­o­la­tion of the rule sought refuge at the First Uni­tar­ian Church late on Thurs­day.

Heav­ily armed po­lice sur­rounded the build­ing and he­li­copters whirled over­head but the demon­stra­tors were al­lowed to leave at about 11pm.

Au­thor­i­ties ar­rested at least 24 peo­ple on charges in­clud­ing un­law­ful assem­bly, fail­ure to dis­perse and riot in the first de­gree, po­lice said, al­though the city ap­peared to avoid the vi­o­lence of the pre­vi­ous evening.

Tay­lor’s death has be­come a ral­ly­ing cry for the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment and the grand jury de­ci­sion sent fresh de­mands for racial jus­tice bil­low­ing across the coun­try.

Two po­lice of­fi­cers were shot and wounded on Wed­nes­day as thou­sands flooded the streets of Louisville to protest against the grand jury’s de­ci­sion. Both are ex­pected to re­cover.

Louisville po­lice chief Robert Schroeder said a man, Larynzo John­son, had been ar­rested and charged with two counts of as­sault and 14 counts of “wan­ton en­dan­ger­ment”.

Mr Schroeder said there had been a to­tal of 127 ar­rests overnight across the city and at least 16 in­stances of loot­ing.

Tay­lor, an emer­gency room tech­ni­cian, was shot dead on March 13 af­ter three plain-clothes po­lice­men ex­e­cut­ing a search war­rant in the mid­dle of the night burst into her apart­ment.

Tay­lor’s boyfriend ex­changed fire with the of­fi­cers, who he said he thought were in­trud­ers.

A grand jury has charged de­tec­tive Brett Hanki­son with three counts of “wan­ton en­dan­ger­ment” over shots fired into ad­join­ing apart­ments.

How­ever, nei­ther Mr Hanki­son nor the two of­fi­cers who fired the fa­tal shots were charged in di­rect con­nec­tion with her death.


Sup­port­ers at the Louisville Metro Hall raise their fists in protest of the lack of crim­i­nal charges in the po­lice killing of Bre­onna Tay­lor.

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