Protests erupted in Kentucky’s Louisville city on Wednesday after three white police officers who had fired into a black medical worker’s apartment in March were not prosecuted for her death, with the authorities justifying the use of force in the case, reported Reuters.
On March 13, Breonna Taylor, the healthcare worker, was shot six times as the police officers barged into her home. The officers said they were conducting a late-night raid at her apartment as part of a narcotics inquiry.
Two white police officers, who fired into Taylor’s apartment, will not be prosecuted and another was charged with “wanton endangerment” for shooting into the medical worker’s neighbour’s home, the Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said during a briefing.
Former Detective Brett Hankinson was charged with three counts of “wanton endangerment” in the first degree – ranking at the lowest level of felony crime in the city, with a maximum punishment of five years in prison, according to Reuters. The other two, Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, were not formally charged as their firing was justified after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot at them. Mattingly was injured in the thigh.
The Kentucky attorney general said that the authorities found six bullets hit Taylor, with one being fatal. The analysis concluded that Cosgrove’s bullet hit the medical worker, reported BBC.
The initial protests that emerged following the announcement were mostly peaceful. Around 9 pm on Wednesday, gunshots were heard near one of the marches. Two police officers were shot as the crowd swelled to thousands. Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder said that their wounds were not grievous, according to CNN. One of the two was in surgery.
Around a dozen protestors were arrested after hundreds clashed with the police in riot gear outside downtown Louisville. After the announcement, the Kentucky National Guard and the state police were deployed as protestors took to the streets.
Crowds of different sizes also began gathering in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC.