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Louisville protest ends after a night of tension

The Black woman was killed during a police raid gone wrong in March. Several arrests have been made near a downtown Louisville church where people protesting a grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor case had gathered.

PTI | Louisville | Updated: 25-09-2020 10:04 IST | Created: 25-09-2020 10:04 IST
Louisville protest ends after a night of tension

A tense protest has ended outside a Louisville church where demonstrators had rallied against a grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor case. Several dozen demonstrators left the First Unitarian Church around 11 p.m. Thursday after a negotiated end to the confrontation. Police who had gathered there with riot gear also pulled back.

Several arrests had been made earlier that evening at an intersection outside the church. But there appeared to be no police interference as the protest disbanded. Demonstrator Nicole Aghaaliandastjerdi said she knew several people taken into custody and believes they were arrested unfairly.

“I am not sad, I am angry,” she said, vowing to return downtown Friday to help her friends get out of jail. The latest demonstrations erupted after the announcement Wednesday that no police officers had been directly charged in the fatal shooting of Taylor. The Black woman was killed during a police raid gone wrong in March.

Several arrests have been made near a downtown Louisville church where people protesting a grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor case had gathered. Among those arrested Thursday night was state Rep. Attica Scott. The Louisville Democrat, who has served in the legislature since 2017, has pushed for legislation outlawing no-knock warrants criticized by protesters. Her Facebook page includes open calls for justice for Taylor, a Black woman killed during a police raid gone wrong last March.

About 200 people remained in the area outside the First Unitarian Church, where demonstrators apparently took refuge to avoid arrest for violating a nighttime curfew. Some taunted officers in riot gear who stood nearby. The stone gothic-style church was built in the late 19th century and is known for its progressive ideology. A large Black Lives Matter banner hangs outside it.

No police officers were directly charged by a grand jury in the fatal shooting of Taylor. Lavel White, a regular protester in downtown Louisville, says he felt drawn to the latest Breonna Taylor march because he was devastated by the grand jury decision in the case.

He felt angry that the months had passed before Wednesday's announcement. No police officers were directly charged in the fatal shooting of Taylor, a Black woman killed during a police drug raid gone wrong last March.

White said officials left the city on edge, waiting so long for such disappointing news. “My wife is a Black woman and I'm a Black man. So they can just barge in my house and kill me and get away with it?” he asked.

He ended up at a church where scores of protesters had gathered Thursday night as police with riot gear stood nearby. A speaker addressing protesters gathered for the Breonna Taylor case that anyone who leaves their spot outside a Louisville church could face arrest. Riot police could be seen nearby.

Scores of people gathered Thursday night outside the First Unitarian Church on Thursday night and remained after a 9 p.m. curfew took hold. Police in riot gear were lined up on the opposite of an empty parking lot across the street from the side of the church. It was the second night of protests over a grand jury decision in the killing of Taylor, a Black woman shot in a police raid gone wrong. The grand jury on Wednesday didn't bring homicide charges against the white officers who burst into her Louisville apartment during a drug investigation in March.

Scores of demonstrators have gathered in Louisville, despite a nighttime curfew and nearby police in riot gear, marking a second night of protests in the Breonna Taylor case. The curfew took hold at 9 p.m. Thursday in the Kentucky city as the protesters met up at the First Unitarian Church. Police in riot gear could be seen blocking nearby streets. People in the crowd chanted “Black Lives Matter." Before the march began, protester Shameka Parrish-Wright told the crowd to stay together and take care of each other if they were met with force.

“We want to show the country and the world what we're about,” Parrish-Wright said. Police blocked roads as they marched. Police, meanwhile, were seen nearby and patrol cars blocked some roads. There was no immediate signs of a confrontation. Protesters have gathered in Rochester, New York, following a grand jury's decision to not charge officers in the killing of Breonna Taylor, the Black woman in Kentucky whose death garnered global attention.


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