Anger on US streets as cops let off over Black woman’s death
Anger, frustration and sadness over the decision not to charge Kentucky police officers for Breonna Taylor’s death poured into America’s streets as protesters lashed out at a criminal justice system they say is stacked against Black people. Violence seized the demonstrations in her hometown of Louisville as gunfire rang out and wounded two cops. Police said they would enforce a strict curfew for the next two nights in Louisville.
Activists, celebrities and everyday Americans have been calling for charges since Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by white policemen after one of them was shot while bursting into her home during a narcotics investigation on March 13.
The cops had a no-knock warrant but the investigation showed they announced themselves before entering, said state attorney general Daniel Cameron, a Republican and the state’s first Black top prosecutor.
A grand jury returned three charges of wanton endangerment on Wednesday against fired officer Brett Hankison over shooting into a home next to Taylor’s with people inside.
Demonstrators chanted Taylor’s name and marched in cities including New York, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Portland. People gathered in Chicago’s Millennium Park, chanting demands for justice as drivers on Michigan Avenue honked their horns. Police in Atlanta unleashed chemical agents and made arrests after protesters tried to climb on a SWAT vehicle. In Minnesota and Wisconsin, marchers peacefully blocked highway traffic.
In Louisville, one of the wounded cops was treated and released with a leg wound, while the other was shot in the abdomen and doing well after surgery. Larynzo Johnson, 26, was charged with two counts of assault on a policeman and multiple charges of wanton endangerment of police officers.
White House hopeful Joe Biden called for police reforms in response to the grand jury’s decision. He said that while a probe continues, “we do not need to wait for the final judgment of that investigation to do more to deliver justice for Breonna”.
US President Donald Trump tweeted that he is “praying for the two police officers that were shot” in Louisville.