Hundreds of people took to the streets in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday (September 26) for the fourth night in a row following Wednesday’s (September 23) announcement that the grand jury will not charge any of the officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death, Time reports.
People from all walks of life chanted “no justice, no peace” in Taylor’s Kentucky hometown, which has seen over 120 days of protests since “Taylor was shot and killed as she slept in her home when plainclothes Louisville, Kentucky, police officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove, entered the premises with a no-knock warrant and began firing shots.”
But as a 9 p.m. curfew time approached, a police loudspeaker announced that anyone who remained in the park would be arrested for a curfew violation. The square emptied out as people departed, many dispersing though one group headed to a nearby church where protesters had found refuge on previous nights.
As a crowd gathered outside the First Unitarian Church late Saturday, fires were set in a street nearby after 11 p.m. Police said fireworks burned a car, and windows had been broken at Spalding University and Presentation Academy buildings close by.
“People inside the church were asked to remain there while police were conducting the investigation and securing the area,” the police department said in a tweet, sharing footage of the scene. At the time of the tweet, which was sent at 2:20 AM on Saturday, 28 people had been arrested, according to Louisville officers.
People inside the church were asked to remain there while police were conducting the investigation and securing the area.— LMPD (@LMPD) September 27, 2020
We are providing video captured by our police helicopter and police live streamers.
At this writing, we know of 28 arrests that were made tonight. pic.twitter.com/lAAPWfjeK9
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer expressed his support for protesters but urged them to remain peaceful as they express their anger, according to Time. Fischer appeared at a news conference Saturday evening, where he told protesters, “I’m mindful that many in our community are hurting and angry about the decisions announced this week.”
“We just ask you to [protest] peacefully, please,” Fischer added.
According to Time, Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, on Friday (September 25) spoke to gatherers and called on Kentucky law officials to release “all body camera footage, police files and the transcripts of the grand jury proceedings.” In a statement read by a family member, Palmer said that she felt the criminal justice system had failed her.
Taylor’s family attorney, civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, also spoke to Louisville protesters this weekend, insisting the grand jury’s indictment sent a message that “police are better off shooting Black bodies than missing them.”
The grand jury’s indictment sent a clear message that police are better off shooting Black bodies than missing them and hitting a wall instead…— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) September 26, 2020
Is that the message @KYOAG wanted to send?! pic.twitter.com/VdAyx5Q0ad
One protester, Amber Brown, told Time that she is angry about the decision in Taylor’s case. “It feels like we went backward,” she told a Time reporter on Friday night. “I think people are still in shock and we’re not sure how to move forward.”
“People are afraid to exercise their First Amendment right,” Brown continued. “Since when does protest have a curfew? Since when does freedom and civil rights have a curfew?”