Breonna Taylor protests turn violent as thousands take to streets across US on first anniversary of killing
Public demonstrations to commemorate the first death anniversary of Breonna Taylor turned violent as protesters clashed with cops and members of the public at marches across the country. Protesters in large numbers took to the streets in Los Angeles and two of them were seen smashing a squad car. Videos were circulated on social media where the men were seen beating the hood of the LAPD car. The car started moving slowly before accelerating abruptly throwing the men on the road.
A video of the incident was circulated widely. "LAPD just ran over two protesters at the Hollywood Breonna Taylor march," one activist stated beneath a video, according to Daily Mail. Another video saw police in riot gear as they stood facing protesters. Few businesses in the Hollywood area were also reportedly vandalized. In Louisville, Kentucky, where Taylor was shot during a police raid last year, armed demonstrators blocked roads prompting cops to declare an unlawful assembly, the report added.
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"Arrests will be made to those that refuse to disperse," the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department wrote on Twitter at 9:30 pm local time. Seattle saw police blocking roads while there was a heavy police presence in Portland as demonstrators protested outside the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse. According to the New York Post, there was nothing peaceful about the protests after one man was injured when one of the activists smashed a plexiglass window at an outdoor dining place in Manhattan.
Earlier in the day, Taylor's mother Tamika Palmer led a peaceful and quiet protest in Louisville. It consisted of hundreds of people marching behind a large purple banner with an illustration of Taylor's face, chanting 'No justice, no peace.'
LAPD just ran over two protesters at the Hollywood Breonna Taylor march. pic.twitter.com/jthfty13oT— Vishal P Singh (@VPS_Reports) March 14, 2021
"Eyes are on Louisville, Kentucky, today so let's show America what community looks like," said Taylor´s aunt, Bianca Austin, who was seen wearing her niece's emergency medical technician jacket. Ahead of the rally, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said in a statement that he would "never understand the unimaginable grief" of Taylor's family and loved ones. "Today we remember Breonna Taylor, her tragic and unnecessary loss, and the immense work we have ahead of us," he said.
Earlier in the week, a Kentucky judge dismissed all charges against Kenneth Walker III, the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor. Taylor was killed by the police when a "no-knock" search warrant was executed at her Louisville home on March 13, 2020. Walker was accused of shooting a cop during the ill-fated raid. Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Olu Stevens dismissed the charges "with prejudice", according to CNN. This essentially means he cannot be charged with the same offenses related to the shooting.
Walker sued the city and the police department in September last year and alleged he was a victim of police misconduct.
A year after her death, none of the officers who fired their service weapons face criminal charges directly over Taylor's killing. Three officers with connections to the raid have been terminated from the force.