LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Hundreds of armed, predominantly Black, activists demanded justice for Breonna Taylor during peaceful demonstrations Saturday in her Kentucky hometown that drew counter-protesters from a white militia group.
Police closed streets and set up barricades to keep the two groups apart as tensions remained on edge in Louisville, where protests have flared for months over the death of Taylor, a Black woman killed when police busted into her apartment in March.
By the time Black activists dressed in black fatigues arrived in the heart of downtown Saturday afternoon, most of the white militia members had already left. Police in full riot geared looked on.
Earlier in the day, three people were accidentally shot at a park where Black activists had gathered, police said. The victims, all of whom were members of the militia group, were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
“This is a tragic situation that could have been much worse,” Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder said in a news release. “I encourage anyone choosing to exercise their Second Amendment rights to do so responsibly.”
The Black activists had converged on Louisville to demand justice for Taylor. Calls for a national reckoning over racism and police brutality intensified following the deaths of Taylor and George Floyd in Minneapolis.