Two police officers were shot during Louisville protests on Wednesday night after the grand jury gave its verdict in Breonna Taylor case deciding not to charge any officers with the killing of Taylor. Reports also claim that at least one protester has been shot in the neck with a projectile.
The jury indicted former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment, which is the lowest of four classes of felonies with a maximum of 5 years and minimum of one year sentence. This verdict invited criticism and people demanded more serious charges on three police officers.
The verdict led to at least 350 protesters gathering in Louisville to protest, and resulted in two police officers being shot. In a statement, Sgt. Lamont Washington of Louisville said that the both officers were stable and one of them was undergoing surgery. Reports also claimed that one of the suspects has been taken into custody.
The Curfew Warning
The video of the protest was captured in a livestream by the Louisville Metro Police Department. Officers were seen at the corner of East Broadway and South Brook Street directing traffic, some of them holding wooden rods.
As the officers started marching south, several projectiles were seen being launched from the police line, making loud noise. The noise suddenly increased and the police officers were seen scattering. The woman recording the livestream for the Police Department was heard shouting "shots fired." Officers took cover behind a police truck shouting "Officer down."
The incident occurred just before the 9 p.m. curfew started. At 8.58 p.m. police asked the protesters to go home if they wanted to avoid being arrested. Officials also warned of using chemical agents if people did not leave. They announced that the curfew would begin at 9 p.m. Hearing this, protesters started cutting through parking lots. Protests were held across the U.S. including in Brooklyn, Seattle and Chicago, Atlanta.
Who is Breonna Taylor?
On March 13, 2020, 26-year-old Black emergency medical worker Breonna Taylor was shot multiple times in her apartment. Three Louisville Metro Police officers entered her home on a no-knock warrant in connection to narcotics probe. However, the suspect against whom the warrant was issued did not live in Breonna's house, and even the police did not seize any drugs from her house.
When police barged inside and threatened, Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, opened fire resulting in the injury of officer Jonathan Mattingly. He was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, but later prosecutors dropped the charge. Following the incident, police officer Hankison was fired from the city's police department on June 23.