Some of them raised their fists and shouted “Black Life Matter!” Others were paired with letters, flowers, and signs grouped together in a section of the city of Louisville. Everyone named him Bryo Taylor.
People denied that the officers who shot a black woman in her apartment during a drug raid last March will not be accused of continuing their fight for justice. The big question for a city was the death of Taylor and the big issue of racism in America.
Many took to the streets – as they did in many American cities – to call for reforms to combat racist policing.
“We lay it down that the law won’t protect us, that they can get away with killing us,” LaValle White, a regular defender in downtown Louisville who is black. He was set for a march on Thursday night as he was devastated the day before by a grand jury verdict not to charge the officers. “If we can’t get justice for Bryo Taylor, can we find justice for anyone?”
He was angry that police in riot gear were out when protesters staged a peaceful demonstration, as they passed through nighttime curfew on the streets of downtown Louisville. The protesters also gathered in places like Los Angeles, where a vehicle ran through a crowd of protesters, injuring one person. In Portland, Oregon – a city that has seen numerous protests since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis – a police union building was set on fire.
Authorities said Taylor, a black woman who was an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by white officers after Taylor shot her boyfriend. He said he did not know who was coming and injured an officer and opened fire in self-defense. Police entered on a warrant involving a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside.
State Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Wednesday that the investigation showed that officers acted in self-defense. An officer who has already been fired was charged with firing at a neighboring apartment.
The FBI is still investigating whether Taylor’s civil rights were violated. But the burden of proof is too high for such cases, with prosecution officials making a firm decision to prove they were acting illegally and to cause someone’s death.
While there was disappointment after the decision in Taylor’s case, others saw reasons for hope.
Resnik Jones said she would continue to push for police accountability and a statewide ban on the “no knock” warrant – released in the Taylor case, though the state’s attorney general said investigations have revealed that police have found her apartment Announced himself before making a dent.
“I believe we are going to get past this,” Jones said as she returned to the park in downtown Louisville on Thursday which has been at the center of the protests. “We can still get some justice.”
Taylor’s family planned to speak at the park on Friday in what is known as Injustice Square.
The case has exposed the schism in the US against laws permitting justice for black Americans killed by officers and allowing officers to be charged, who regularly see the police.
Since Taylor’s assassination, Louisville has taken some steps to address the protesters’ concerns. Apart from the officer who was fired and later charged, three others were placed on desk duty. Authorities have banned the no-knock warrant and hired a black woman as permanent police chief – a first for the city.
Louisville also agreed to more police reforms because it was a lawsuit involving $ 12 million for Taylor’s family. But many have expressed disappointment that more has not been done.
And so they took to the streets.
Louisville police on the streets in riot gear hailed the streets and cars as the crowd imposed a nighttime curfew. Authorities blocked the exit of a church where protesters gathered to avoid arrest for violation of curfew.
Several people were detained, including State Rep. Attica Scott, a Louisville Democrat. Scott recently unveiled legislation that would ban the use of no-knock search warrants in Kentucky. This measure, called Bryons’ Law in Taylor’s honor, will also require drug and alcohol testing of officers involved in shootings and fatal incidents and body cameras must be worn during the execution of all search warrants.
Police finally pulled back late Thursday after talks with protesters to end the protest.
Police said 24 people were arrested by 1am on Friday. Authorities alleged that protesters broke windows in a restaurant, damaged city buses, tried to set fire to it and set fire to the street.
Earlier, it became heated between some protesters and a group of 12 to 15 armed whites wearing military-style uniforms, but it did not physically change.
The curfew would last for the weekend and Gov. Andy Beshear called the National Guard for a “limited mission”.
The peaceful protests that took place the night before gave way to some destruction and violence. Two officers were shot and were expected to recover.
26 year old Lorenzo D. Johnson was charged and was scheduled to be in court on Friday. Court records did not advocate for him.
In Louisville Square, where protesters often gather, Rose Henderson is caring for flowers, signs and letters planted on a memorial to Taylor and hopes authorities will not try to remove them.
“We’re going to stay here and hold this place,” Henderson said.
Associated Press writers Rebecca Reynolds Yonker, Piper Hudspeth Blackburn, Bruce Schreiner and John Minchillo in Louisville, Kentucky; Kevin Freaking and Michael Balasamo in Washington; Aaron Morrison in New York; And Helleua Hydero in Lancaster, Pennsylvania contributed.
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