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Violent Protests Erupt In Louisville, Videos Indicate Riots Were Pre-Planned

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.

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

Down the street, protesters surrounded a man who was trying to defend his business and began smashing his windows.

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.

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.

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

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.

Barricades have been placed around Jefferson Square Park and police have restricted access to other areas of downtown as well.

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Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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