Reports were emerging late Wednesday of two Louisville police officers shot as protests erupted in the city Wednesday after prosecutors announced a single officer had been indicted — but not on charges involving the the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman.
A spokesman for the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department issued a brief statement Wednesday night saying: “We currently have an officer shot. We’ll update when we can.”
The statement did not elaborate on the condition of the officer or the circumstances of the shooting.
The Daily Mail reported about 10 p.m. ET that in fact there were two officers shot about 8:30. Citing the Louisville Metro P.D., the news outlet said the officers were rushed to an area hospital. But there was no additional information at the time of publication, and it was not definitively known if the shootings were tied to the Breonna Taylor protest activity or not.
A Reuters news alert said a suspect had been arrested, according to the police chief. The alert also said both officers were expected to survive.
The developments came amid a fast-changing scene in Louisville, where police had earlier fired flash bang devices to clear demonstrators from a downtown square Wednesday evening. The protesters had gathered there to protest a grand jury’s decision to not indict police officers on criminal charges directly related to Taylor’s death.
Officers detained at least four people, who sat on the ground with their wrists bound behind them. As television cameras broadcast the scene live, a protester pointed at an officer and shouted: “Say her name!”
Elsewhere in the city, right-wing groups the Boogaloo Boys and the Proud Boys were seen fully armed as they made their way downtown to challenge Taylor protesters, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reported.
An Associated Press reporter saw National Guard members and armored military vehicles in downtown Louisville. At one point Wednesday night, police in riot gear fired flash bangs and formed a line at Jefferson Square, which has been at the center of protests. The square had largely cleared out ahead of a nighttime curfew as demonstrators marched through other parts of downtown Louisville.
Protests quickly erupted elsewhere as well: Demonstrators marched through the streets of New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Philadelphia. Packed into a New York City Plaza, protesters chanted, “Say her name, Breonna Taylor,” before marching in the street in downtown Brooklyn, past onlookers and honking cars. They were accompanied by musicians setting a steady drum beat.
“It’s a volcano built up and now it’s exploded,” said Dekevion Gause, who sat beside a Louisville park memorial to Taylor made of flowers, paintings, and tiny grave markers representing Black people killed by police.
Gause said all of the officers involved in the March 13 raid on Taylor’s home should have been charged with manslaughter.
“It’s kind of a slap in the face,” he said of the grand jury’s decision.
Gause gathered with dozens in Jefferson Square Park, dubbed “Injustice Square” by protesters who made it their impromptu hub during months of demonstrations. People huddled around a single speaker Wednesday to listen as prosecutors announced that fired police officer Brett Hankinson had been charged with wanton endangerment for firing into a home next to Taylor’s.
A grand jury brought no charges for killing Taylor, who was shot multiple times by police who burst into her home during a drug raid gone wrong. While there were no drugs in Taylor’s apartment, her boyfriend shot and wounded a police officer. State Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the officers’ shots that killed Taylor were fired in self-defense.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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