News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

2 Officers Shot After Charges In Breonna Taylor Case Spark Protests

NOEL KING, HOST:

Two Louisville police officers were shot last night. Police say they do have a suspect in custody and that the officers' injuries are not life-threatening. This happened during protests demanding justice for Breonna Taylor. Yesterday, a grand jury declined to charge two officers who shot at Taylor in her home.

A third officer was charged with first-degree wanton endangerment of her neighbors. That officer, who has been dismissed, shot into nearby apartments. Police broke through Taylor's door in what they said was a late-night drug raid. Her boyfriend, thinking they were intruders, shot at them. And police fired at least 32 shots back, hitting Breonna Taylor six times and killing her. There have now been months of protest, including yesterday's.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Breonna Taylor.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: Say her name.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Breonna Taylor.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: Say her name.

KING: Stephanie Wolf of WFPL was there yesterday. She's with us now. Good morning, Stephanie.

STEPHANIE WOLF, BYLINE: Good morning.

KING: The city set a 9 o'clock p.m. curfew. Not everyone obeyed that curfew. What did you see in the streets yesterday?

WOLF: Yeah. Well, immediately following the announcement, protesters basically marched out of the downtown area. And they were met face-to-face with police. And arrests were made. Much later into the evening, there were small fires set around the hall of justice. And about 30 minutes before curfew is when the two officers were shot downtown. Police say one had to undergo surgery. And there were demonstrations that continued after the curfew.

KING: So as you were out yesterday talking to protesters, what were they telling you?

WOLF: Well, this was not the news protesters were hoping for. A few told me it was insulting, especially that the one officer was indicted for endangering Taylor's neighbors and not for his involvement in her shooting death. I spoke with Louisville-based poet and activist Hannah Drake. She called the results a, quote, "joke."

HANNAH DRAKE: It's just another reminder, as a Black woman, that my life does not matter in this city. It's just disappointing. This girl was in her house. She wasn't bothering anybody.

KING: We are hearing a lot of heartbreak there from her and from others. I imagine these protests will continue.

WOLF: Yeah. I mean, yesterday marked the 119th consecutive day of protests in Louisville demanding justice for Taylor since late May. And what I repeatedly heard from protesters is that yesterday's announcement will not end the demonstrations. Here's Nicole Williams (ph). She says she'll be out today and the next day.

NICOLE WILLIAMS: However many days, I will be here. No justice, no peace. And there's still no justice. And until there's justice, there will be no peace, period.

WOLF: So last week, the city settled a wrongful death lawsuit by Taylor's family. And as part of that settlement, the city committed to implementing a list of law enforcement reforms, like using a tracking system to flag officers who use excessive force or have citizen complaints. So protesters and residents are waiting for how much substantive change will be put in place now.

KING: Stephanie Wolf with WFPL in Louisville. Stephanie, thanks so much for your reporting on this one. We really appreciate it.

WOLF: Yeah. Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.