Louisville, Kentucky, restricts access before decision in Breonna Taylor case
Police in Louisville, Kentucky, were restricting access to downtown in preparation for the state attorney general’s announcement about whether he will charge officers in Breonna Taylor’s shooting death.
"While we do not know when the Attorney General will make his announcement, LMPD is taking the following actions now to ensure the area is as safe as possible for those coming downtown to express their First Amendment Rights, as well as those who live and work in the area," the Louisville Metro Police Department said Tuesday in a statement.
Police said they would place barricades around Jefferson Square Park, where many protests have been held, and the perimeter of the downtown area, allow only pedestrians in the blocks immediately surrounding Jefferson Square Park, restrict vehicle traffic in other areas of downtown and limit access to parking garages.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said earlier this month that "an investigation, if done properly, cannot follow a certain timeline."
"When the investigation concludes and a decision is made, we will provide an update about an announcement," he said.
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Taylor, a Black emergency medical worker, was shot eight times March 13 by officers who entered her home using a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation. The warrant used was connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside. The use of no-knock warrants has since been banned by Louisville’s Metro Council.
Large protests over Taylor’s death that at times became violent erupted in late May in the city but most demonstrations since then have been peaceful, including a massive march outside the Kentucky Derby earlier this month. Celebrities, athletes, activists and Taylor’s family have for months pushed Cameron to criminally charge the officers involved in the raid.
"We recognize that this is an inconvenience, and will cause difficulty for those that live, work and have business downtown, and we apologize for this inconvenience. However, public safety is our number one priority, and it would be irresponsible if we did not take preemptive action to preserve it," police said.
On Monday, police had said the department canceled vacations and were setting up barricades in preparation for the decision.
Federal officials have closed the federal courthouse and other federal buildings for the week.
Last week, the city of Louisville settled a lawsuit from Taylor’s family for $12 million and pledged several police reforms as part of the agreement.