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Riot Police Are Arresting People in Louisville

Cops rush crowd, declare assembly unlawful
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2020 4:45 PM CDT

(Newser) – People angered by the indictment of a sole police officer in the Breonna Taylor case are marching in downtown Louisville—where cops have formed a line and arrested a few protesters, USA Today reports. The group had assembled early in Jefferson Square Park, the nerve center of protests for nearly 18 weeks, and marched after the news broke: A Kentucky grand jury had indicted one of three officers who burst into Taylor's apartment in March and shot her dead in an apparent exchange of gunfire with boyfriend Kenneth Walker. Former officer Brett Hankison was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment related to shots that hit other apartments, not those that killed Taylor. For more:

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  • Protesters responded to the news by yelling, "That's it?" Some cursed, others wept, and one urged the crowd to burn the city down. An activist told the New York Times, "It tells people, cops can kill you in the sanctity of your own home."
  • The protesters marched through the streets followed by a police caravan while some officers stood by with assault rifles. After more than two hours, the vocal but peaceful protest was stopped by cops in riot gear—who suddenly pushed into the protesters with batons, throwing people down and arresting them. A cop on a loudspeaker announced that the assembly was hereby unlawful. The smell of a police chemical agent hung in the air. See video of the riot police here.
  • The city is under a state of emergency with an area of more than 25 blocks closed to traffic, the Courier-Journal reports. Most business and city administrative buildings were boarded up before the decision came out.
  • Demonstrations are planned nationwide, from Los Angeles to Brooklyn to Minneapolis and St. Paul, the Washington Post reports. The Times notes that Chicago is preparing itself for protests. Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson have denounced the grand jury's decision but called on people to protest peacefully.
(Read more Breonna Taylor stories.)

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