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Breonna Taylor protests in Louisville: Unlawful assembly declared on 2nd night of demonstrations

Protests over the grand jury’s decision in the Breonna Taylor case continued for a second night in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Louisville Metro Police Department declared an unlawful assembly Thursday night “due to protesters breaking windows on 4th Street,” shortly before a 9 p.m. curfew went into effect.

Earlier on Thursday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced he was extending a countywide, 72-hour curfew through the weekend following violent protests Wednesday night, during which two Louisville police officers were shot.

Both officers are doing well and will survive their injuries, announced interim police chief Robert Schroeder, who also said that more than 100 people were arrested during demonstrations on Wednesday.

Maj. Aubrey Gregory, who is the commander of Louisville police department’s special operations division, was shot while leading the protest response on the ground, Schroeder said. Gregory has since been treated and released from a hospital for a gunshot wound to the hip, Schroeder said.

The other officer who was shot is Robinson Desroches, who was struck in the abdomen. He underwent surgery and is in stable condition and expected to recover, the interim chief said.

One suspect was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree assault and 14 counts of wanton endangerment directed against police officers, Schroeder said.

President Donald Trump, who earlier Wednesday said he was not familiar enough with the case to comment, tweeted Wednesday night that he was praying for the officers.

“The Federal Government stands behind you and is ready to help. Spoke to @GovAndyBeshear and we are prepared to work together, immediately upon request!” he wrote.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tweeted, “Even amidst the profound grief & anger today’s decision generated, violence is never & can never be the answer. Those who engage in it must be held accountable. Jill & I are keeping the officers shot tonight in Louisville in our prayers. We wish them both a swift & full recovery.”

The shooting followed hours of protests throughout Louisville, which erupted after a Kentucky grand jury on Wednesday indicted one officer on charges of endangering Taylor’s neighbors during the police shooting that resulted in her death.

After the sole indictment was announced, some wept, some chanted and some marched. Many chanted Taylor’s name and “Black Lives Matter,” as a line of officers stood shoulder-to-shoulder, blocking them from parts of the city.

Schroeder said during Wednesday night’s protests there were several instances of unlawful behavior — including looting, damage to businesses, damage to a public works vehicle and the moving of barricades — during which police intervened.

Demonstrators and police in riot gear squared off after some protesters allegedly knocked over patio furniture at a business, according to Louisville ABC affiliate WHAS. Officers allegedly used pepper balls to disperse the crowd.

Louisville police made 127 arrests Wednesday night, Schroeder said.

Maj. Stephen Martin, a spokesman for the Kentucky National Guard, told ABC News that Gov. Andy Beshear authorized the deployment of a portion of the Kentucky National Guard to Louisville.

The governor later activated 500 guardsmen.

Fischer announced a 72-hour curfew starting at 9 p.m. The police officers were shot Wednesday just before the 9 p.m. curfew went into effect.

On Wednesday, former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison was indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for allegedly endangering Taylor’s neighbors when he fired into the apartment complex.

The neighboring apartment had three people inside, thus the three charges against Hankison, said Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. The other officers involved in Taylor’s death were not charged.

Taylor family attorney Ben Crump tweeted Wednesday, “NOTHING for the murder of Breonna Taylor. This is outrageous and offensive!”

“If Brett Hankison’s behavior was wanton endangerment to people in neighboring apartments, then it should have been wanton endangerment in Breonna Taylor’s apartment too. In fact, it should have been ruled wanton murder!” he wrote.

Taylor’s sister, Ju’Niyah Palmer, posted to Instagram, “Sister I am so sorry.”

In an Instagram story, Palmer said Taylor, who had previously worked as an EMT for the city, was “failed by a system” she “worked hard for.”

Protests spread across the country Wednesday night, from New York City to to Portland to Seattle to Chicago to Atlanta to Washington, D.C., in remembrance of the 26-year-old Taylor.

Taylor was shot dead by police while in her Louisville home on March 13. Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep when three Louisville Metro Police Department officers, including Hankison, tried to execute a “no-knock” search warrant. The officers were investigating a suspected drug operation linked to Taylor’s ex-boyfriend. No drugs were found in the apartment.

Walker contends he asked the officers to identify themselves as they tried to break open the door, but got no response, which prompted him to open fire with his licensed gun. Mattingly was shot in the leg, according to Cameron.

The attorney general said Hankison fired no shots that struck Taylor. He added Detective Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly were “justified” when they opened fire 22 times during the incident since they were returning fire.

Hankison was fired and the other officers involved were placed on administrative duty.

People also turned to social media Wednesday to voice their frustration and anger.

Chanelle Helm, an organizer of Black Lives Matter Louisville, said, “We shouldn’t be too surprised at what’s happening.”

“What is frustrating is that white supremacy, this government and its elected officials continue to deny us healing and any taste of what real justice looks like. Justice in this country is nonexistent,” Helm said in a statement. “This country hasn’t changed. This country hasn’t come to the realization that fascism was its only goal. We move every day for capitalism and not for humanity. Instead of bringing in paths for healing, we keep bringing in more law enforcement, more military and more representations of the systems we desperately need to dismantle.”

The ACLU of Kentucky called this “the latest miscarriage of justice in our nation’s long history of denying that Black lives matter.”

“We join the Taylor family and the community in protesting and mourning the Commonwealth’s choice to deny justice for Breonna,” the ACLU said in a statement. “Breonna Taylor was killed when plainclothes officers used a no-knock warrant to enter her home in the middle of the night. They did not even perform life-saving measures as she took her last breaths after they shot her five times. Throughout this tragic series of events, including today, the police and prosecutors continuously have failed Breonna Taylor, her family, and Black Kentuckians.

“This outcome shows us that true police accountability does not exist in Kentucky,” the ACLU said. “The results of this investigation reflect insufficient standards for police use of force, government-sanctioned violence and terror in communities of color, and a need to completely rebuild our justice system.”

Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, tweeted, “Breonna Taylor deserves justice. This was not justice. 1 of the 3 officers was indicted for wanton endangerment. No one was charged for her murder.”

“We must take this anger to the polls, and vote this November like we’ve never voted before,” he said. “Black Lives Matter.”

Cameron said federal prosecutors are looking into potential civil rights charges.

ABC News’ Rachel Katz, Matthew Seyler and William Mansell contributed to this report.

This report was featured in the Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, episode of “Start Here,” ABC News’ daily news podcast.

“Start Here” offers a straightforward look at the day’s top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, the ABC News app or wherever you get your podcasts.

Source:

abcnews.go.com

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