Breonna Taylor protests: what we know so far
Protests have erupted across the US after a grand jury decided not to directly charge police officers for the killing of Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by Louisville police as officers carried out a no-knock warrant in March.
Thousands of people in nearly every major US city saw protesters chanting “Say her name! Breonna Taylor” and “No justice, no peace”. Posters and shrines dedicated to Taylor were seen all around as protesters marched.
Two police officers in Louisville were shot and suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Louisville police have one suspect in custody, but it is unclear whether the suspect and the shooting were related to protests in the city. One officer is undergoing surgery while the second is alert and stable. The police have not released any other information.
A car drove through protests in Denver, there were no injuries. One person was detained.
Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, learned of the charging decision minutes before attorney general’s announcement. The family’s attorney, Sam Aguiar, told CNN: “She had to drive all the way down there to be told this, despite two advanced requests from me to not force her to drive down only to learn no indictments.”
Former Louisville police officer Brett Hankinson faces three felony counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. None of the other officers involved in the fatal shooting were indicted. No homicide charges were issued. Reacting to the announcement on MSNBC, the Revered Al Sharpton, a civil rights leader, condemned the charges as “grossly insufficient.”
The Louisville mayor announced a curfew in anticipation of the Taylor announcement. Mayor Greg Fischerissued an on-camera statement saying he hoped Cameron’s announcement would be met with “a peaceful, lawful response like we have seen the majority of the past four months.” Fischer announced the city would observe a curfew for the next three nights, from 9pm to 6.30am.
Kentucky governor, Andy Beshear, called for protesters to “go home”. In a video statement, he said: “We know that the answer to violence is never violence. And we are thinking about those two officers and their families tonight. So I’m asking everybody, please, go home. Go home tonight.”
Senator Kamala Harris said Taylor and her family “deserve justice yesterday, today and tomorrow”. Asked about the indictment, the California senator said she had not yet had the chance to fully review the indictment.
Kentucky’s attorney general, Daniel Cameron, denied that the search warrant carried out at Breonna Taylor’s home was a “no-knock warrant”. Cameron claimed the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Taylor identified themselves before entering the apartment. Cameron said that information was corroborated by a witness. But according to a 911 call placed by Taylor’s boyfriend shortly after she was shot, he did not know the shooters were police officers. “I don’t know what’s happening,” Kenneth Walker said in the call. “Somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend.”