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Breonna Taylor case: Two police officers shot during protests in US’ Louisville
Louisville [US], September 24 (ANI): Two Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers were shot during protests against the Kentucky grand jury’s decision to indict one police officer involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor, an African-American nurse.
One officer is undergoing surgery and both are in stable condition, LMPD interim chief Robert Schroeder said, CNN reported.
According to Schroeder, a suspect is in custody. “I am very concerned about the safety of our officers,” he said.
“We have had two officers shot tonight and it is very serious. It is a dangerous condition. I think the safety of the officers and community we serve is of utmost importance,” he added. The names of the two officers were not revealed.
Officers were deployed in the downtown after shots were fired in a crowded area, Schroeder further said.
The development comes after one officer, Brett Hankison, was charged with three lesser counts of wanton endangerment in connection to the death of Taylor, who was shot dead in a police raid at her home on March 13. The victim did not have any criminal record, The Hill reported.
Several people had expressed their disapproval and frustration over the grand jury’s decision, saying more steps should have been taken. Hours after the grand jury’s decision, protests broke out in Louisville with clashes taking place between the police and demonstrators.
Each count of wanton endangerment could carry up to five years in prison.
Earlier, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had put out a tweet that it is responding to reports of a police officer shot amid the protests. “The FBI Louisville SWAT team has responded to an LMPD officer being shot and will continue to assist in the investigation,” FBI’s Louisville bureau tweeted.
Ben Crump, a civil rights lawyer, termed the grand jury’s decision “outrageous and offensive”.
“If Brett Hankison’s behaviour was wanton endangerment to people in neighbouring apartments, then it should have been wanton endangerment in Breonna Taylor’s apartment too. In fact, it should have been ruled wanton murder! This is outrageous and offensive!” Crump, who is representing the Taylor family, said in a tweet.
The two other cops — Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove — fired six and 16 shots respectively. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said that Taylor was shot six times, though only one of the bullet wounds proved to be fatal.
Vehicle barricades were set up by Louisville Police in the Louisville downtown area as well as around Jefferson Square Park, the launching point for several Black Lives Matter protests, according to The Hill.
Mayor Greg Fischer announced a 72-hour curfew which began from 9 pm (local time) on Wednesday. Also, the Kentucky National Guard was pressed into service before the restrictions came into place. (ANI)