Two police officers have been shot by protesters angry about a grand jury decision not to charge the police officers with offences directly involved in the killing of black social health worker, Breonna Taylor in March.
The 26 year old health worker was shot and killed during a raid on her home by three white police officers who had a warrant of arrest for her boyfriend on drug related charges.
Breonna’s boyfriend fired at police officers as they broke into the house and they responded with overwhelming force, killing Breonna Taylor who was asleep at the time. Her boyfriend said at the time that he fired because he thought Ms. Taylor’s ex-boyfriend had broken into the apartment.
A grand jury which reviewed the evidence in the city of Louisville decided not to press criminal charges against the officers involved. To the anger of protesters, the Jury instead indicted one of the officers with wanton endangerment for firing shots that hit a neighbor’s apartment during the incident.
Anticipating the coming violence during the deliberation by the grand jury, Mayor Greg Fischer had put a curfew in place for three days to run from 21:00 – 06:30 GMT. The National Guard had also been called in to help local police.
The curfew did not stop angry protesters from gathering after the curfew period however. The protests quickly turned violent as crowds of angry black people confronted police officers on the streets of Louisville who responded with flash bangs and projectiles, arresting at least 48 people. Many of the protesters expressed anger that none of the police officers involved had been directly charged with killing Breonna Taylor.
According to the Police Chief, Robert Schroeder, both officers were shot after they responded to reports of gunfire at an intersection where a large crowd of protesters had gathered. While giving a briefing to the press on Wednesday evening, the Police Chief said one of the officers was alert and stable while another one was undergoing surgery at the time.
The Governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear urged the protesters to go home.