By: KADEN SCHARNOW
Over the past few months, local protests in Louisville, Kentucky have climbed to yet another national series of protests for 26 year old African American ER technician Breonna Taylor. Taylor was shot in her apartment by Louisville Metro police officers during a movie in bed with her boyfriend, 26 year old Kenneth Walker, on March 13th, 2020. The officers arrived to serve a “no-knock” warrant connected to a narcotics investigation, and claimed they knocked and announced themselves, though Walker claimed he never heard the knock. When Walker fired a warning shot, which hit Sgt. John Mattingly in the thigh, officers Brett Hankinson, Miles Cosgrove and Sgt. Mattingly returned fire, hitting Taylor six times. Taylor died in the hallway of her apartment.
Protests in Louisville started on May 28th, when recordings of the frantic 911 call made by Walker was released to the public. Hundreds took to the streets in an impromptu protest and launched a 126-day occupation of Jefferson square park across from the Metro Hall. While protesters are urged to keep the protests peaceful, but assertive to attract attention, violence broke out in not only Louisville, but other major cities across the country as well.
Twenty-Five people were arrested on the streets of Louisville last Saturday, September 26th charged with rioting, curfew violations, and theft. Louisville police claimed fires were set, windows smashed, buildings tagged with graffiti, and a car in the Spalding University parking lot was set ablaze with fireworks set inside.
The New York Police Department arrested at least a dozen protesters in Greenwich Village on the same Saturday. Eight received summonses for disorderly conduct, and the other four faced charges including resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, walking on roadways, and using an “amplified sound device” in a park nearby. One man is facing charges for assaulting a police officer.
A forty year old woman stands charged with attempted murder and assault after hitting two protesters with her car in Yorba Linda, Orange County, California. The woman was in a white car when she charged through the crowd of protesters injuring the two with non-life-threatening injuries. There were also reports of pepper spray used on each other, and of people carrying firearms. When the sheriff’s department declared the protest an unlawful assembly, the crowd dispersed.
During the day, protests were peaceful in Portland, Oregon. But as night fell on Saturday, the protesters grew violent, and forced the police to make several arrests. Projectiles were thrown at police, who responded with pepper balls thrown at crowds. In one arrest, police seized a can of bear spray and a tactical baton. The protests were declared an unlawful assembly at midnight, but the fights continued.
10 people were arrested after a group smashed windows, started fires, and threw fireworks at officers in Seattle, Washington. The group was told to disperse, but they defied officers and threw rocks, bottles, and more fireworks. Officers used blast balls to push the crowd back so they could put out the fires.
Sadly, the next protests after George Floyd weren’t peaceful, but more violent than the last. Now it is the protestors themselves that are causing the most damage, but they are definitely being paid attention to, and are being heard as they wanted. The protester’s main goal is for justice for Breonna Taylor by firing and charging the police officers in trial. The protests continue throughout California and the rest of the nation, and they don’t seem to be letting up anytime soon.