Louisville, KY – Moments after a grand jury indicted one former Louisville police officer on Wednesday afternoon for endangering Breonna Taylor’s neighbors, video showed planned marches erupted across the city with protesters pulling signs and riot supplies out of staged U-Haul trucks.
Authorities began planning for violent riots in the city as word spread that the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office had completed its investigation and was ready to present its findings to a Jefferson County grand jury on Monday.
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.
The grand jury indicted former LMPD Officer Brett Hankison 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, but none of the Louisville police officers were indicted for firing shots after Taylor’s boyfriend opened fire on them.
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 who fired shots into Taylor’s home during the botched raid in March.
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.
Antifa handing out riot supplies from the back of a uhaul in Louisville KY Breonna Taylor pre-riot protests. pic.twitter.com/bruih99kfg
— Concerned Citizen.☄️ (@WebsterGladwin) September 23, 2020
In the video, protesters removed shields, bats, and other items that could be used as weapons against police in a riot.
Did you see this?
It’s a UHaul filled with riot supplies for anti-cop radicals in Louisville
Notice the bats & other weapons too
Does this seem like a peaceful protest?
Or does it seem like funded/coordinated Antifa rioting?
Spread this b/c we know Fake News won’t cover it pic.twitter.com/OuosEHg67m
— Rogan O’Handley 🇺🇸 (@DC_Draino) September 23, 2020
Down the street, protesters surrounded a man who was trying to defend his business and began smashing his windows.
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) September 23, 2020
Meanwhile, militia members were reportedly staging at spots four miles and 10 miles outside of Louisville in an effort to protect area businesses and residents.
Some of the militia members wore colored armbands to help differentiate their group from others.
A couple dozen members of the “National Patriotic Defense Team” Militia are gathering about four miles from downtown #Louisville.
Another right-wing militia group is currently reportedly rallying up about ten miles away as well.
They’re currently listing emergency contacts. pic.twitter.com/H95JxVmglN
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) September 5, 2020
Police had been preparing for the expected violent protests and moved quickly to shut down problem areas of the city as protesters began setting fires in trash cans.
Authorities declared an “unlawful protest” and began scuffling with protesters and making arrests almost immediately.
— W.E. Dupree (@WayneDupreeShow) September 23, 2020
Police are inciting the violence in #Louisville.
Protestors peacefully hold their hands in the air.
Police start swinging batons with no provocation.
Then the police declare the protests “unlawful” and threaten the use of chemical agents.#Justicepic.twitter.com/e4O5FTJCJt
— Bobby Boucher Esq. (@BobTheComrade) September 23, 2020
— Anonymous (@YourAnonCentral) September 23, 2020
— Grande Capo (@VoLinxx) September 23, 2020
Videos showed stacks of bricks had been staged near the intersection of Cherokee and Bardstown Roads.
— T Mills (@agentrevolt) September 23, 2020
East Louisville protests pic.twitter.com/4LoOVDjlM3
— #JusticeforBreonnaTaylor (@tamburlaine01) September 23, 2020
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.
The curfew will be in effect from 9 p.m. until 6:30 a.m. for 72 hours and doesn’t apply to people going to work, seeking medical attention, or going to worship.
LMPD Interim Chief of Police Robert Schroeder said the National Guard has already been activated and numerous other law enforcement agencies will also be providing support in the county.
The only time anyone is convicted of killing Black Americans is if the person(s) themselves are Black American, other than that. #NoJusticeInAmerica
— Black First (@Blac1st) September 23, 2020
Barricades have been placed around Jefferson Square Park and police have restricted access to other areas of downtown as well.