Further protests are possible in Louisville (Kentucky) following a grand jury indictment on Wednesday, September 23, of a former police officer involved in the fatal March 13 shooting of a black woman, Breonna Taylor. In attempts to reduce the chance of unrest, a nightly curfew will be in place between 21:00 and 06:00 (local time) between Wednesday and Saturday, September 26. The National Guard have also been deployed. The officer charged, Brett Hankison, was charged with "wanton endangerment" for firing into a neighbour's apartment, not with Breonna's death. Two other officers who were involved have not been charged.
Police declared a state of emergency in Louisville on Monday, September 21, ahead of the indictment. Authorities restricted access to the downtown area from Tuesday, September 22, erecting barricades around Jefferson Square Park and limiting access to the area between Market and Broadway streets, and 2nd Street and Roy Wilkins Avenue. Only pedestrians will be permitted to enter; vehicles are prohibited until further notice.
A heightened security presence and associated disruptions should be anticipated at all protests.
The death of a 26-year old Breonna Taylor during a police operation in March provoked unrest in Louisville. The protests are also linked to wider unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd whilst he was being arrested by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. The four arresting police officers were subsequently fired and detained, and one has since been charged with second-degree murder. Demonstrations have occurred in several cities across the US, with solidarity protests taking place throughout the world.
Those in Louisville are advised to monitor developments, avoid protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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