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2 Officers Shot, 127 Arrested In Louisville As Riots Sweep Nation

Louisville, KY – Two Louisville police officers were shot and 127 rioters were arrested during the violent riots that erupted in the wake of the announcement that a grand jury indicted just one of the officers involved in the raid that took place at Breonna Taylor’s apartment.

The grand jury indicted former Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) Officer Brett Hankison on Sept. 23 on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots into a neighboring apartment occupied by three people, one of who was a pregnant woman and another was her child.

None of the Louisville police officers were indicted for firing shots after Taylor’s boyfriend opened fire on them.

Hankison surrendered to police after the announcement, his attorney, Stew Matthews, told CNN.

He was booked into the Shelby County Jail, and was later released after posting $15,000 bail.

The Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) declared a State of Emergency and the Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher announced a curfew ahead of the announcement of the grand jury’s decision.

Protesters were already gathered outside the government buildings that had been boarded up in anticipation of riots if the grand jury ignored activists demands and failed to charge all three officers.

Video showed that even as Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced that the special prosecutor’s investigation of the incident had determined that LMPD Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly and LMPD Officer Myles Cosgrove were “justified in their use of force after being fired on by Walker,” protesters were preparing to wreak havoc in the streets.

One video showed protesters removing “Abolish the Police” signs and riot gear from a rented U-Haul truck that had been staged nearby.

In the video, protesters removed shields, bats, and other items that could be used as weapons against police in a riot.

Hundreds of protesters marched through the city after the 1:15 p.m. announcement, the Courier Journal reported.

As they approached Bardstown Road around 4 p.m., members of the group clashed with police, resulting in 13 arrests.

Officers had been preparing for the expected riots and moved quickly to shut down problem areas of the city as protesters began setting fires in trash cans.

Ahead of the announcement, officials in Kentucky ordered the federal courthouse closed down and the mayor announced a curfew for Jefferson County starting at 9 p.m. on Wednesday night.

By the time the curfew went into effect, the demonstrations had already been deemed unlawful, the Courier Journal reported.

Authorities began scuffling with protesters and making arrests almost immediately.

Police had set up a barricade at the intersection of Market Street and Sixth Street downtown to shut down a roadway, but the mob tore down the blockade and allowed vehicles to drive into the closed-down area before they vandalized multiple city vehicles, the Courier Journal reported.

Videos showed stacks of bricks had been staged near the intersection of Cherokee and Bardstown Roads.

Rioters set multiple garbage piles and trash cans on fire in the Jefferson Square Park area at approximately 8 p.m., the Courier Journal reported.

About a half hour later, LMPD was notified that shots had been fired at a large gathering near east College Street and South Brook Street, LMPD Interim Chief Rob Schroeder told reporters during a late-night press conference, according to WLKY.

As the officers arrived in the area to investigate the gunfire, a rioter opened fire on them, Chief Schroeder said.

Two officers were shot during the attack.

They were rushed to University Hospital, where one of the officers was taken into surgery, Chief Schroeder said.

Both officers were listed in stable condition at the time of the press conference, WLKY reported.

“I’m very concerned about the safety of our officers tonight,” Chief Schroeder told reporters. “Obviously, we’ve had two officers shot tonight. That is a very serious and a very dangerous condition. I think the safety of our officers and of the community we serve is of the uppermost importance.”

The accused gunman, Larynzo Johnson, was arrested on charges of assault on a peace officer and wanton endangerment.

Officers had already arrested a total of 46 rioters by 11 p.m., the Journal Courier reported.

By 2:20 a.m. on Thursday, that number had climbed “closer to 100,” LMPD spokesperson Sergeant Lamont Washington said during a predawn press conference.

Rioters broke in and looted at least three businesses during the overnight mayhem, Sgt. Washington said.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear released a late-night video on Twitter, urging people to stop the violence and to “go home.”

Beshear said he understands that people have out on the streets “giving voice” to their “powerful emotions,” but that the peaceful demonstrations had ultimately turned violent.

“Unfortunately, we have seen at least one individual turn what were nonviolent ways of expressing ourselves into the shooting of at least two law enforcement officers,” the governor said. “We know that the answer to violence is never violence, and we are thinking about those two officers and their families tonight.”

“I’m asking everybody – please – go home,” Beshear continued. “There will be many times over the coming days where there will be an opportunity to be heard, and so many people are listening right now.”

The final tally of overnight arrests reached 127, the LMPD said at about 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, according to WLKY.

The violent uprisings that erupted in the wake of the announcement in the Breonna Taylor case were not confined to Louisville.

In Portland, hundreds of rioters converged on the police department’s Central Precinct and the Multnomah County Justice Center on Wednesday night and shattered windows with “softball sized rocks,” the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) said in a press release.

The mob used slingshots to launch objects through the broken-out windows, and tried to force their way into the precinct lobby, according to police.

The rioters ignored orders to disperse, and continued to return to the area to fire commercial-grade fireworks at officers.

The group lit the north side of the Justice Center on fire at approximately 10:16 p.m., leading authorities to declare the gathering to be a riot.

Officers were attacked with green lasers, full soup cans, and other projectiles as they worked to disperse the mob.

Rioters threw Molotov cocktails at police on at least three occasions – including one that hit an officer in the foot.

“A Portland Fire Medic was nearby and able to extinguish the flames,” the PPB said. “Had this incendiary not been stopped immediately, it could have caused serious physical injury to the officer.”

Three officers suffered minor injuries during the overnight violence in Portland.

In Seattle, officers standing outside the East Precinct at approximately 10:45 p.m. were attacked by a rioter who threw an explosive through a roll-up gate, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) said in a press release.

The device exploded near the group of bike officers.

As they tried to arrest the assailant, rioters attacked police with rocks and bottles. It is unclear whether or not they were able to apprehend their attacker.

Another officer was hit in the back of his head by a bat-wielding rioter, according to SPD.

The officer’s helmet was cracked as a result of the massive blow.

SPD is still searching for the suspect who hit the officer in the head with the bat.

Members of the group also cut the wires that power the precinct’s security camera system.

SPD arrested a total of 13 people during the overnight mayhem.

Hundreds of demonstrators also marched in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, New York City, Nashville, and Columbus, Ohio, among other cities, KIRO reported.

Roughly 200 people marched through downtown Washington, D.C. on Wednesday night, knocking over newspaper boxes and breaking multiple windows, according to The Washington Post.

Rioters in St. Paul, Minnesota, blocked Interstate 94 in both directions for approximately 40 minutes, WCCO reported.

In Providence, Rhode Island, dozens of people tried to block off an interstate on-ramp near the Providence Place Mall, according to WPRI.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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