Breonna Taylor

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Andy Beshear says he doesn’t regret sending the National Guard to Louisville to assist with the city’s response to protests over racism and police violence.

The National Guard was in Louisville starting on Saturday May 30, and on early Monday morning two National Guardsmen were involved in the shooting death of local barbecue chef David McAtee, who state and police officials say fired first.

The incident has sparked outrage from people across the city, state and country already protesting police violence against Black people.

Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

By now it’s become a familiar scene: Marchers fill the streets with placards proclaiming “Black Lives Matter,” and chants fill the air as the demonstrators recite the names of those lost. 

But there’s something different about some of these protests around the Ohio Valley in the past week. They’re not just happening in the larger cities such as Louisville, Lexington, Columbus and Cincinnati. Smaller college towns such as Athens, Ohio, and Morgantown, West Virginia, have seen marches. Communities in Kentucky farmland and the heart of Appalachian coal country, such as Hazard and Harlan, Kentucky, have seen people protesting against racial injustice and police violence. 


Colin Jackson

By now, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery have become household names. 

The deaths of the three Black individuals have sparked days of nationwide protesting against racism and police violence. 

Over the weekend in Bowling Green, a crowd estimated at 1,000 people gathered in Circus Square Park for the city's largest demonstration yet.


Becca Schimmel

A crowd gathered in Bowling Green Friday to rally for racial equality and police accountability. The march was organized by the BG Freedom Walkers, a new community organization that has only existed for about a week. It was started by a group of friends and like-minded people who wanted to do something in response to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor being killed by police. 

Floyd died in Minneapolis after a police officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. Breonna Taylor was shot several times by Louisville Metro Police Officers who executed a no-knock warrant on her home. 

Hundreds of people came to the protest with homemade signs and marched from Circus Square Park to the Warren County Justice Center. 

Before she was a hashtag or a headline, before protesters around the country chanted her name, Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old woman who played cards with her aunts and fell asleep watching movies with friends.

That changed on March 13, when police officers executing a no-knock warrant in the middle of the night killed her in her apartment in Louisville, Ky.

J. Tyler Franklin

Protesters have been calling for a statewide ban on no-knock warrants in Kentucky after a Louisville police raid that led to the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26 year-old emergency room technician who was Black.

During a joint meeting of the Kentucky legislature’s judiciary committees on Thursday, lawmakers heard testimony about Taylor’s killing, racial discrimination and the massive protests that have taken place in Louisville and across the country.

Keturah Herron, with the ACLU of Kentucky and Black Lives Matter, said that lawmakers need to start passing laws that are “equal for all people.”

J. Tyler Franklin

On the night of the first protest in Louisville on May 28, Kayla Meisner and her boyfriend watched everything unfold downtown on the news. She said, for a long time, they talked about taking to the streets to demand change. But it’s also been scary. 

“Then we go [to the protests] Friday with the same mentality, this is something we’re fighting for, but we’re scared of this,” said Meisner, who is Black and works at the University of Louisville. 

Meisner thought the protests felt peaceful on Friday, but said things had “a totally different energy” when it got dark. 


Rev. Rhondalyn Randolph

Members of Owensboro’s faith community are preparing to hold a rally to show solidarity against racism and police brutality. 

The event, which will take place downtown Thursday, follows demonstrations in dozens of U.S. cities over the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.  The rally will also show support for the family of Breonna Taylor, a black Louisville woman fatally shot in her home by police serving a warrant. Rev. Rhondalyn Randolph, president of the Owensboro NAACP chapter, says faith leaders don’t condone the violence that’s taken place at some rallies.

“Violence, in the Word it says, begats violence and nothing good can come of it," Randolph said. "But there’s one thing we have gotten out of it, and that’s the attention to police brutality and racism that’s still prevalent in our country.”

Colin Jackson

A midday protest against racism and police drew a crowd of around 180 people Wednesday morning in Bowling Green.

It was the latest in what has now been six straight days of peaceful gatherings in the city following last week's death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, a black man who died after an officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The video-taped incident, along with the police-related death of Louisville Emergency Medical Technician Breonna Taylor, and the shooting of Georgia jogger Ahmaud Arbery, have spurred protests nationwide.

Becca Schimmel

More than 100 people gathered and marched in downtown Bowling Green Monday, to protest police brutality and racial inequality. It marks the fourth day of protests, organized by different groups and individuals. 

Protestors walked from the Warren County Justice Center to city police headquarters, where the speeches and chants focused on police brutality. Marchers displayed 'Black Lives Matter' signs, although the event was not organized by that group. Other displays had the names of black people who have died in police custody. 

Throughout the marching, protestors remained peaceful, and there was no police presence during the event. 

Colin Jackson

A speech from a former member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), an arrest for wanton endangerment, and a peaceful march marked some moments Friday and Saturday during protests in Bowling Green.

Dozens gathered Saturday evening in the city’s Circus Square Park to march against racial injustice and violence in the wake of the recent killings of three unarmed black individuals.


Becca Schimmel

Nearly 200 people gathered in downtown Bowling Green Saturday to march from Circus Square Park to the Warren County Justice Center.  

There were signs in memory of Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed in her home after the Louisville Metro Police Department carried out a no-knock warrant. 

 

Bowling Green protestors also had signs in support of Black Lives Matter and spoke about the importance of voting.

J. Tyler Franklin

Mayor Greg Fischer is appealing for calm on the streets following protests in downtown Louisville Thursday night. The protest moved through downtown for several hours and was largely peaceful, until gunfire rang out and seven people were wounded late in the evening.

The demonstration attracted hundreds of people and was in response to the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor during a drug raid conducted by LMPD officers in March.

On Friday morning, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said five of the seven wounded were treated at the scene, and two were taken into surgery. All are currently in stable condition, he said. 

7 Shot During Downtown Louisville Protest Over Breonna Taylor’s Death

May 29, 2020
Ryan Van Velzer

Seven people were shot, leaving at least one in critical condition, during a protest Thursday evening in downtown Louisville over the death of Breonna Taylor.

Louisville Metro Police Department spokesperson Alicia Smiley said police made some arrests, but she couldn’t say how many as “the situation is ongoing.” LMPD spokesperson Jessie Halladay said in an email that no officers fired their weapons.

Shots could be heard on live streams of the protest before 11:30 p.m., and a WFPL reporter saw two men injured by gunfire at the northeast corner of Jefferson and Sixth streets. Police officers found the men in the crowd and rendered aid, according to reporter Ryan Van Velzer.

screenshot via WFPL

In the week since the police killing of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor prompted national outcry, two policies have been the subject of much scrutiny: the use of a “no knock” warrant, and that officers weren’t wearing body cameras on that March night.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced Monday that those policies would change.

He said officers seeking a “no knock” warrant from a judge will first have to get approval from the chief of police, Steve Conrad, or his designee. Also, he said Louisville Metro Police Department policy will change to make body cameras “available for serving warrants, and other situations when they will be identifying themselves as police officers.”

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