WASHINGTON - Protests erupted for a second night Thursday in Louisville, Kentucky, in the aftermath of a grand jury’s decision not to bring homicide charges against any of the three white police officers who carried out a drug raid that led to the shooting death last March of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was an emergency medical worker.
Demonstrators took to Louisville’s downtown streets Thursday night to express their anger and frustration with the grand jury’s decision. Some protesters smashed windows. Police said at least 24 people were arrested.
More than 100 protesters took refuge in the First Unitarian Church after the start of a night-time curfew.
Earlier Thursday, there were some tense moments when a group of armed white people confronted the protesters, but no shots were fired.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said at a news conference Thursday, “What do we do with this pain?” The mayor added that there is “no easy answer to that question.”
Taylor was killed when police entered her apartment on a “no-knock” drug raid, authorized to allow police to burst into a dwelling without warning to keep evidence from being destroyed.
However, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Wednesday that a neighbor of Taylor’s heard police announce their presence before entering Taylor’s apartment and that their entry was not deemed a “no-knock” raid.
Cameron said the officers “were justified in their use of force” after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who says he heard no announcement by the police, opened fire at them first when they entered the apartment, thinking they were intruders.
No drugs were found in Taylor’s apartment.
Attention is being focused on Taylor’s shooting and other cases following the death earlier this year of George Floyd, a Black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd’s death sparked protests around the world about social injustice.