Two police officers shot in Louisville will survive their injuries, chief says
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Authorities pleaded for calm while activists vowed to fight on Thursday in Kentucky’s largest city, where a gunman wounded two police officers during anguished protests following the decision not to charge officers for killing Breonna Taylor.
Outrage over a grand jury’s failure to bring homicide charges against the officers who burst into the Black woman’s apartment six months ago set off a new round of demonstrations Wednesday in several American cities. The state attorney general said the investigation showed officers were acting in self-defense when they responded to gunfire from Taylor’s boyfriend.
Reginique Jones returned Thursday morning to the park in downtown Louisville that has been the hub for protests, saying she was distraught over the grand jury’s decision to only charge a single officer for firing into apartments neighboring Taylor’s. Still, Jones vowed to continue pressing for increased police accountability and for a statewide ban on “no-knock” warrants — the kind issued in the Taylor case, though state Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the investigation showed police did announce themselves before entering.
“I believe that we are going to get past this,” Jones said as demonstrators began to arrive at the park dubbed Injustice Square. “As long as we continue to remain strong, and stay on the same page, we can still get some justice.”
Though protests in Louisville began peacefully the day before, officers declared an unlawful assembly after they said fires were set in garbage cans, several vehicles were damaged and stores were broken into. A 26-year-old man was arrested and charged with firing at police and wounding two officers.
“Violence will only be a source of pain, not a cure for pain,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Many see Breonna Taylor’s case as both the tragic death of a young woman and the continuation of a long pattern of devaluation and violence that Black women and men face in our country, as they have historically.”
“The question obviously is: What do we do with this pain?” the mayor asked. “There is no one answer, no easy answer to that question.”
Demonstrators kept gathering Thursday at Injustice Square, while others marched through downtown, where police in riot gear turned out in force as the nighttime curfew passed and crowds blocked some roads.
Officers blocked the exits of a church where protesters gathered to avoid arrest for violating curfew. Several people were detained, including state Rep. Attica Scott, a Louisville Democrat. Police eventually pulled back and the demonstrators left.
The two Louisville officers shot during protests were “doing well and will survive their injuries,” said interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder.
Maj. Aubrey Gregory, a Louisville officer for more than 20 years, was shot in the hip and was treated at the hospital and released. Officer Robinson Desroches, who joined the force 18 months ago, was shot in the abdomen and underwent surgery.
Larynzo D. Johnson, 26, was charged in the shootings with assaulting police officers and wanton endangerment of police officers.