At least seven people suffered gunshot wounds on Thursday night during protests in the city of Louisville, in the state of Kentucky, which demanded the prosecution of the police officers allegedly involved in the death of a black woman in his apartment, local media reported this Friday.
The protests against police abuse in Louisville came in the heat of the third night of riots in Minneapolis and neighboring Saint Paul, Minnesota, where George Floyd died last Monday after being violently subdued by police.
In Louisville, hundreds of people took to the streets demanding the prosecution of the agents involved in the event last March, when Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old medical technician, was shot eight times by three police officers who came to her apartment with a search warrant without notice.
Taylor’s partner, Kenneth Walker, said he shot the officers, who were dressed in civilian clothes, when they broke into the apartment because he did not know they were police. The agents responded by opening fire and causing the death of the woman, who perished in the hallway of the house.
According to Louisville’s The Courier-Journal, at least one of the people injured in the clashes last night is in serious condition. The city’s Police Department assured that its agents did not fire on the protesters.
Councilwoman Keisha Dorsey, who saw protesters begin to gather in the center of town, said that what happened “is a revolt against a system in which people feel oppressed.”
“What I see is people trying to do what they can to express their pain and frustration,” he stressed.
According to the newspaper, what started as a peaceful demonstration of about 500 or 600 people, who chanted Tayor’s name and demanded the prosecution of the agents, turned into a tense situation at dusk.
Riot police confronted protesters with tear gas and paintballs. Hours later, dozens of vehicles and buildings showed the damage caused by protesters who, at a certain height, almost overturned a police van transporting detainees.
“It’s understandable that the emotions are so intense,” Louisville Mayor George Fisher said in a Twitter message shortly after midnight.
In a press conference this Friday, Fisher explained the absence of criminal charges against the agents, since, he explained, “due process is underway.”
“We should all agree on the facts as best we can,” he added.
Scenes similar to those lived last night in Minneapolis and Louisville were reproduced in Denver, Colorado, where protesters took to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd, in a concentration that led to riots, where witnesses heard gunshots near the Capitol. state, with no victims reported.
According to local media, the police used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the protesters.
They set fire to a station
Thousands of people participated this Thursday in the third consecutive night of protests in Minneapolis by the death at the hands of the police of the African-American George Floyd, mobilizations that led to the burning of a police station, riots and looting.
During the day, the protests spread not only in Minneapolis but also in neighboring Saint Paul, known as “Twin Cities”.
The protests escalated after Hennepin County Prosecutor – with jurisdiction over Minneapolis – Mike Freeman appeared on Thursday to announce that he has no intention, at the moment, of charging charges or arresting the agent responsible for Floyd’s death, Derek Chauvin.
“There is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge. We need to weigh all that evidence to come up with a coherent decision, and we are doing the best we can, ”Freeman told the media.
It did little to calm the spirits that Minneapolis Police Commander Medaria Arradondo, who has already fired Chauvin and three other officers involved, apologized to Floyd’s family.
For his part, the governor of Minnesota, the Democrat Tim Walz, activated the National Guard – a military reservist corps -, which deployed fifty soldiers through the city before confirmed after a new night of chaos. It is the first time in 34 years that Minnesota has activated the National Guard in protests.
With the fall of the day, looting and fires proliferated throughout the city as thousands of protesters gathered around the Minneapolis Third Precinct Police station, which has become a symbol of the protest for Floyd’s death, according to reports from the local newspaper Star Tribune.
At one point, the protesters managed to set fire to the police station, which burned in flames to the celebration of many, who even launched fireworks.