May 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

National Guard heads to Louisville, Ky., to quell protests over fatal March police shooting

A man spray paints a sign that reads "Justice for Breonna" as Louisville remains in a state of protest

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has ordered 350 National Guard to Lousiville, following two nights of protests against the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor in her home.

Why it matters: Louisville was among the cities to erupt in protest after George Floyd died during an encounter with Minneapolis police, which was a bitter reminder of Louisville's own unresolved extrajudicial killing in March. The officers involved in Taylor's death have been placed on administrative leave but have not been formally charged, according to The New York Times. The FBI announced May 21 it would investigate the Kentucky shooting, per The New York Times.

The state of play:

  • Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced a dusk-to-dawn curfew. He said, "The tone clearly changed last night. The number of people on our street clearly changed last night, as well. This turned from being a peaceful protest into violence and terrorism and looting on the streets of our city," The Courier-Journal notes.
  • Fischer said seven people were shot during Friday's protests, and two of them were taken into surgery while five are in good condition, per the Times.

Background: Police allegedly shot Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, while they were executing a "no-knock" warrant during a narcotics investigation, per the Times.

  • Taylor was not the focus of the investigation, but a judge had signed off on the warrant, per The Courier-Journal.
  • Taylor's friends and family "question why police entered Taylor's home in the early morning hours and opened fire, leaving the 26-year-old dead with at least eight bullet wounds," the Journal reports.
  • Police say they knocked on the door to announce their presence but forced their way in "after midnight before being met by gunfire."
  • Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was also home at the time and said he did not hear the police announce themselves. A 911 recording shows that Walker telling the dispatcher, "somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend," the Times writes.
  • Walker was charged with attempted murder after shooting a police officer in the leg during the intrusion, but the charges have been dropped.

Go deeper:

Deaths without consequences

The aftermath of George Floyd's death: Everything you need to know

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