Black legislator among 24 arrested in US protests

Updated 26 Sep 2020

Email

Protesters march around a Louisville Police officer during a peaceful protest after a grand jury decided not to bring homicide charges against police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, in Louisville on September 25. — Reuters
Protesters march around a Louisville Police officer during a peaceful protest after a grand jury decided not to bring homicide charges against police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, in Louisville on September 25. — Reuters

LOUISVILLE: Louisville police arrested 24 people, including a Kentucky state representative, as relative calm prevailed overnight during a second night of protests since police were cleared of homicide in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.

Among those arrested was state Representative Attica Scott, the only Black woman in the Kentucky legislature and the author of the proposed “Breonna’s Law,” which would end “no-knock” warrants and require police to wear body cameras while warrants are served. The bill is due to come up in the 2021 session.

Protests erupted following Wednesday’s announcement that a grand jury would not bring homicide charges against police officers involved in the fatal March 13 shooting of Taylor in her home during the execution of a search warrant.

Instead, one officer was charged with wanton endangerment for stray bullets that struck a neighboring apartment.

Police on Friday reported 24 arrests overnight on charges of unlawful assembly, failure to disperse and riot in the first degree, but no serious violence was reported. Two police officers had been shot and wounded the night before, when 127 people were detained. Scott was accused of felony first-degree rioting in addition to the misdemeanor offenses of failure to disperse and unlawful assembly, police said.

As a 9 pm curfew went into effect and police declared an unlawful assembly on Thursday, a group of 200 to 300 protesters who had marched through the city for hours retreated to the grounds of the First Unitarian Church, set aside by organizers as a sanctuary near the Ohio River waterfront.

Some of the marchers had smashed windows of several local businesses, and even a hospital, along the way, according to a journalist. But the scene outside the church contrasted sharply with violence that flared the previous night in Kentucky’s largest city.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2020