At least two police officers have been shot in Louisville, Kentucky, amid civil unrest over a decision by state Attorney General Daniel Cameron suggesting that the use of force by two police officers in Breonna Taylor's death in March was justified under state law.
Louisville Metro Police Department chief Robert Schroeder said at a press conference that a suspect has been taken into custody after the shooting.
"Both officers are currently undergoing treatment... One is alert and stable. The other officer is currently undergoing surgery and stable. We have one suspect in custody", he said.
According to NBC, the two officers have been taken to University of Louisville hospital after they were shot.
UPDATE: 2 officers have been shot amid protests in Louisville and taken to Univ. of Louisville Hospital for treatment, police spokesperson tells @NBCNews.— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 24, 2020
The shooting of the two officers prompted a reaction from US President Donald Trump, who tweeted that he was "praying" for them and expressed his readiness to offer help from the federal government.
Praying for the two police officers that were shot tonight in Louisville, Kentucky. The Federal Government stands behind you and is ready to help. Spoke to @GovAndyBeshear and we are prepared to work together, immediately upon request!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2020
Following an initial report that one LMPD officer has been shot, the FBI announced in a statement that it had responded to the shooting.
"The FBI Louisville SWAT team has responded to an LMPD officer being shot and will continue to assist in the investigation", the statement said.
The FBI Louisville SWAT team has responded to an LMPD officer being shot and will continue to assist in the investigation.— FBI Louisville (@FBILouisville) September 24, 2020
Earlier reports suggested that the shooting took place at Brook and Broadway, in Louisville, Kentucky, amid mass protests over the Breonna Taylor announcement. Twitter users shared videos allegedly showing the exact moment of reported shooting.
#BREAKING: This video shows the moments when shots were fired in #Louisville. Police say an @LMPD officer has been shot near Broadway and Brooks in the protests following the #BreonnaTaylor grand jury decision. (Video via @SVNewsAlerts) pic.twitter.com/TKaIl51XOi— Alexis Wainwright (@AWainwrightTV) September 24, 2020
Video - At Broadway and Brooke, rioters fired a minimum of 10 shots at the Louisville police, striking one officer. Unreal. pic.twitter.com/IG2iN6XzQQ— CIA-Simulation Warlord 🇺🇸😈🇺🇸 (@zerosum24) September 24, 2020
The streets of Louisville saw civil unrest and protesters clashing with police on Wednesday after the Breonna Taylor announcement, with officers using rubber bullets against protesters and conducting multiple arrests. The National Guard was also deployed in the city.
The mayor of Louisville announced on Wednesday that a curfew had been imposed in Louisville for the next 72 hours between 9 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.
Our city will be under a curfew beginning at 9 tonight (9/23) until 6:30am. It's important for everyone in our community to be safe, as much of the unfortunate violence that's occurred in recent months has happened overnight. Please begin heading home. https://t.co/wC5wuQz7GZ— Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) September 24, 2020
Protests in Louisville sparked after it was announced that police officers involved in the killing of a Black woman, Breonna Taylor, will not be charged for her death, with only one officer being indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment for shooting into neighbouring apartments during the fatal raid.
Taylor was shot dead on 13 March, when police officers made a "no-knock-warrant" raid on her apartment while looking for two suspected drug dealers. Taylor's boyfriend opened fire at the cops, later explaining that they had failed to identify themselves as police. The officers then fired dozens of shots in return, with five of them hitting Taylor.
The killing of Breonna Taylor, as well as a Black man in Minneapolis, George Floyd, by white police officers, has prompted a new wave of nationwide protests against police brutality and racism in the United States, engulfing several cities in mass demonstrations that have sometimes turned violent.