Breonna Taylor: Louisville police officers shot during nationwide protests

September 24, 2020

Two police officers have been shot in Kentucky in the US after no officers were charged with offences directly linked to the killing of Breonna Taylor in March. 

Protesters have been marching in Louisville, Kentucky's largest city, with some arrested after scuffles broke out with officers.

At a news conference, police chief Robert Schroeder said the officers were hit after deploying to the centre of the city following reports of shots being fired.

He said they were being treated at University Hospital where one was "alert and stable" with the other "undergoing surgery and stable".

He added that one suspect was in custody.

Police in protective gear, National Guard members and armoured military vehicles were ordered into Louisville as protesters responded with tears and anger following a grand jury decision not to charge police officers for the fatal shooting of Ms Taylor.

Prosecutors announced a single officer had been indicted, though not on charges directly involving the 26-year-old's death on 13 March.

Of the three officers involved, Brett Hankison was the only one to be indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment - after he fired his gun into neighbouring apartments.

He could face up to five years in prison for each of the three counts.

Kentucky's attorney general Daniel Cameron said the investigation found the remaining two officers were justified in their use of force.

When police lined up with shields outside the courthouse, protesters threw plastic water bottles at them.

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Later on, police in riot gear fired flash bangs and formed a line at Jefferson Square - which has been at the centre of the protests.

The square largely cleared before a night time coronavirus curfew as demonstrators marched through other parts of downtown Louisville.

Protests have erupted across the US in retaliation to the Breonna Taylor decision, with demonstrators marching through the streets of New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

Protesters in New York were heard chanting, "Say her name, Breonna Taylor," as they marched on a street in downtown Brooklyn.

A grand jury brought no charges for killing Ms Taylor, who was shot multiple times by police who burst into her home during a drug raid gone wrong. While there were no drugs in Ms Taylor's apartment, her boyfriend shot and injured a police officer.

President Donald Trump praised Kentucky's Republican attorney general for his handling of the investigation into Ms Taylor's death.

He read from attorney general Daniel Cameron's statement that "justice is not often easy."

"I said, 'write that down for me please cause I think it was a terrific statement,'" the US president said.

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