Social Issues

Louisville protesters target attorney general on third day of demonstrations

By Jairo Mejía

Louisville, US, Sep 26 (efe-epa).- Protesters demanding justice for Breonna Taylor continued their sit-in for a third night, urging the attorney general to release the transcripts of the grand jury proceedings that did not charge three Louisville police officers accused of killing the paramedic in March.

Hundreds of protesters marched through the city streets on Friday night without any major incident of violence.

Taylor’s family members urged Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to release the transcript of the deliberations of an investigative jury that had ruled on Wednesday that the actions of the three police officers involved in Taylor’s killing were justifiable.

Taylor, a 26-year-old paramedic, was fatally shot in her bed on Mar. 13 by cops who burst into her home for search as a part of a narcotics investigation targeting her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover.

According to several witnesses, the plain-clothes officers barged into the house without identifying themselves and fired indiscriminately after Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker shot at them, mistaking them as intruders.

No drugs were found in the house, and the warrant was based on Taylor’s relationship with her ex-boyfriend.

After three months of delays, partly due to the protests, Cameron decided to file charges of wanton endangerment against ex-officer Brett Hankison for firing shots into apartments neighboring Taylor’s.

The jury let off the other two officers.

“I have been a prosecutor and defense attorney for 13 years in Kentucky. I know that you do not have the right to use the defense of ‘self defense’ when you kill or injure an innocent third party,” Lonita Baker, a legal representative of the family, told reporters on Friday.

The family’s main lawyer, Ben Crump, demanded the publication of the grand jury’s transcripts amid concerns that the attorney general, a rising star of the Republican Party in Kentucky, prioritized some facts over the other to gain a decision in favor of the accused officers.

Taylor’s mother Tamika Palmer was also present at the press conference.

In a statement read out by her sister Bianca Palmer, she said: “I was reassured Wednesday of why I have no faith in the legal system, in the police, in the law that are not made to protect us Black and Brown people.”

Black protesters in the city of Louisville, divided between a Black-dominated western part and a majority-white east, continued to express rage against the judgment for the third consecutive day, gathered at a Unitarian church to sidestep the 9 pm curfew.

Protesters vowed to “respond to hate with hate” and said the African-American community was beginning to wake up.

Crump, who successfully secured $12 million in damages for the families from the city authorities, said the decision to not charge any of the three officers in association with Taylor’s killing showed a “clear pattern” of disrespect and marginalization of the black community, especially black women.

The sustained pressure from street protests after the lack of indictment on Wednesday has already resulted in some progress, with the city’s Democratic mayor Greg Fischer pledging to carry out police reforms and the publication of parts of Taylor’s case summary withheld for months.

The forensic report in Taylor’s death released on Friday said six bullets had hit her body in the early hours of Mar. 13 when she was resting after days of working emergency night shifts due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A bullet that hit the heart caused the death. Officer Myles Cosgrove, who continues to be in service, allegedly fired by the shot. EFE-EPA

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