When the officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death were not charged with murder, protesters took the Louisville streets to demand justice and make known their disappointment with the grand jury’s reports. Officers patrolling the streets eventually clashed with the demonstrators in violent encounters that surfaced the web.
Initially, the cops dressed in riot gear blocked off Bardstown Road to prevent the marching crowd from moving further, but as protesters reportedly confronted them, they immediately reacted. Some officers shot pepper balls and used batons. In one video, cops repeatedly punched a protester while voices could be heard pleading for them to “stop.” Several arrests were also made.
Per the Courier Journal, Louisville police later declared the demonstration unlawful and asked for protesters to “immediately disperse.” They warned the remaining individuals that they “may dispense chemical agents” and would make more arrests if they didn’t leave the premises. The protesters eventually complied with the officers and began chanting Taylor’s name.
Earlier today (Sept. 23), Detective Brett Hankinson was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into Taylor’s home. Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove’s shootings, however, were justified.
Ahead of the clashes, Tim Findley, a regular at the Taylor protests, expressed his disappointment in the grand jury’s decision. “It’s a tragedy. This is an embarrassment, and it’s exactly why there have been protests for the last (119) days,” he said. “This is a disappointing, hurtful, painful day in our city. What I just heard amounts to a slap on the wrist for him murdering, for them murdering Breonna Taylor.”
While cops guarded downtown Louisville, armed white militia were also spotted surveying the area. The group later identified as members of the The National Defense Patriotic Team.
Look below for footage of the clashes between the protesters and the police in Louisville.
Chants of “Breonna Taylor” towards the police officers. pic.twitter.com/xtHIHWSk1x— Hayes Gardner (@HayesGardner) September 23, 2020
Police in riot gear are blocking off Bardstown road. There have been several arrests. pic.twitter.com/x5hxKGGlud— Hayes Gardner (@HayesGardner) September 23, 2020