Protests erupt in major US cities | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 25, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:51 AM, September 25, 2020

No Murder Charges agaisnt Cops in Breonna Taylor case

Protests erupt in major US cities

State of emergency, overnight curfew imposed in Louisville after two cops shot; riot declared in Portland

Outrage and heartbreak boiled over into protests in cities across the US on Wednesday after news broke that none of the three officers involved in Breonna Taylor's death were charged with her killing. 

More than six months after Taylor was shot to death after Louisville police officers broke down the door to her apartment while executing a warrant, a grand jury decided to indict only one of the three officers involved on first-degree wanton endangerment charges. The charge applies to the risk put on Taylor's neighbors but does not aim to hold the officer responsible for her death.

From Louisville to Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York, masses of people congregated to protest the decision. Police in Portland declared protests outside the justice center there a riot. And in Seattle, 13 people were arrested after a night of fires and protesters throwing glass bottles and fireworks at police, authorities said.

The biggest demonstration was in Taylor's hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, where two police officers were hospitalized after being shot late Wednesday.

"Both officers are currently undergoing treatment," interim police chief Robert Schroeder told reporters.

"One is alert and stable. The other officer is currently undergoing surgery and stable," he said, adding that one person had been arrested.

President Donald Trump, who is campaigning for reelection on a "law-and-order" platform, tweeted that he was "praying for the two police officers that were shot tonight in Louisville, Kentucky. The Federal Government stands behind you and is ready to help."

Thousands of demonstrators had flooded the streets of Louisville in the afternoon.

"Say her name -- Breonna Taylor," they chanted. "No lives matter till black lives matter."

Police in riot gear made several arrests, and used flashbang grenades to clear hundreds of protesters from a park, where a memorial to Taylor was placed.

A state of emergency and an overnight curfew were declared for the city of 600,000, with much of downtown closed to traffic, and several shops boarded up in anticipation of violence.

Seething protests have rocked America's cities for months, with the movement's anger fed by a stream of deaths of black people at the hands of overwhelmingly white police, and exacerbated by badly fractured national politics and inflammatory rhetoric by Trump.

Taylor, an emergency room technician, died when three plainclothes policemen turned up at her door in the middle of the night to execute a search warrant.

Taylor's boyfriend, who was in bed with her, grabbed a gun and exchanged fire with the officers. He later said he thought they were criminals.

The officers, who had not activated their body cameras as required, shot Taylor multiple times. A police sergeant was wounded.

In the wake of the grand jury's decision, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the two officers who had fired the shots that killed Taylor had done so in self-defense, and would therefore not be charged.

"This is a tragedy," Cameron said. "I know that not everyone will be satisfied. Every person has an idea of what they think justice is."

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