Louisville prepares for Breonna Taylor announcement

Police officers stand near barriers added to block access to downtown, Sept. 22, 2020 in Louisville. Officials in Louisville were preparing Tuesday for more protests and possible unrest as the public nervously awaits the state attorney general’s announcement about whether he will charge officers in Breonna Taylor’s shooting death. Taylor's shooting has been followed by months of protests in the city. (AP Photo/ Dylan Lovan)

By DYLAN LOVAN and REBECCA REYNOLDS YONKER Associated Press (09/22)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Officials in Kentucky’s largest city were preparing Tuesday for more protests and possible unrest as the public nervously awaits the state attorney general’s announcement about whether he will charge officers in Breonna Taylor’s shooting death.

With timing of the announcement still uncertain, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer declared a state of emergency due to the potential for civil unrest, hours after police said they would restrict access in the city’s downtown area. The mayor and police said they were trying to plan ahead of time to protect both demonstrators and the people who live and work there.

But some involved in protests seeking justice for Taylor questioned why the police were going to such “overkill” lengths when the city has been the site of peaceful protests for months.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron has declined to set a deadline for his decision. Earlier this month, he remarked that “an investigation, if done properly, cannot follow a certain timeline.”

Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder said officials from Cameron’s office have promised to try to give authorities a heads-up.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the measures taken by Louisville police are due to the intense scrutiny of the Taylor case, in Louisville and around the country.

“The national attention here is so great, the potential for outsiders so significant, the possibility of someone taking something peaceful and trying to turn it into something that’s not, is all there,” Beshear said during his daily COVID-19 briefing Tuesday.

Mayor Fischer said officials’ goal “is ensuring space and opportunity for potential protesters to gather and express their First Amendment rights after the announcement.”

“At the same time, we are preparing for any eventuality to keep everyone safe,” he said.

In a news release Tuesday, the Louisville Metro Police Department said it was placing barricades around Jefferson Square Park, where protests over Taylor’s death have been held, and the perimeter of the downtown area; allowing only pedestrians in the blocks immediately surrounding the park; restricting vehicle traffic in other areas of downtown and limiting access to parking garages.

The department apologized for any inconveniences to workers and downtown residents.

“However, public safety is our number one priority, and it would be irresponsible if we did not take preemptive action to preserve it,” the statement said.

Police first mentioned the barricades on Monday, when they also said they had canceled vacations and were denying officers’ requests for time off for the time being.

Federal officials closed the federal courthouse and other federal buildings for the week.

Sadiqa Reynolds, who heads the nonprofit Louisville Urban League and lives downtown, described the city’s measures as “overkill.”

“This is certainly an over-response to the local protests that have been happening in our community,” she said, noting that protesters have been demonstrating in and around the city for nearly four months.

When Reynolds and hundreds of others staged a peaceful protest on Kentucky Derby day, police blocked off streets surrounding Churchill Downs and stationed dozens of officers at the track, which was without fans inside.

“This city keeps meeting the desire for justice with this preparation for war,” she said.

Taylor, a Black emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times March 13 by officers who entered her home using a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation. The warrant used was connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside. The use of no-knock warrants has since been banned by Louisville’s Metro Council.

Large protests over Taylor’s death that at times became violent erupted in late May in the city but most demonstrations since then have been peaceful. Celebrities, athletes, activists and Taylor’s family have for months pushed Cameron to criminally charge the officers involved in the raid.

Last week, the city of Louisville settled a lawsuit from Taylor’s family for $12 million and pledged several police reforms as part of the agreement.

Meanwhile, an officer who was shot in the leg by Taylor’s boyfriend the night police entered her apartment wrote an email to fellow officers telling them that with their actions, Fischer and top police officials had “failed all of us in epic proportions.”

In the email, published by news outlets Tuesday and confirmed by his attorney, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly wrote, “I know we did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night.”

Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, told police he fired one round after Taylor’s door was broken down and Mattingly entered. Walker said he thought someone was breaking into the house and didn’t know that it was police who were entering.

Referring to protesters, Mattingly added that police officers should not be in a position “that allows thugs to get in your face and yell, curse and degrade you.”

His attorney, Kent Wicker, told The Associated Press in an email that Mattingly’s email was “expressing his support for (fellow officers) and their work during these difficult times.”

https://apnews.com/630c85547338dc523f12ae7db7a4b60d

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

Posted in: Lawsuits, Police, Police Brutality/Abuse of Authority, Policies & Practices, Protests/Civil Unrest, Racial Issues, Search Warrants

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 × five =

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.