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Monday, October 26, 2020

‘We Are Going to War:’ Some Armed Protesters Gather in Louisville Days After Officers Shot

Louisville, Kentucky, police clashed with hundreds of protesters, some armed, participating in a “peaceful” gathering deemed unlawful by authorities, who dispersed the crowd two hours before the 9 p.m. curfew went into effect using flashbangs, several witnesses and videos revealed via Twitter on Friday night.

Friday’s confrontation occurred after the Wednesday shooting to two police officers during violent protests in the wake of a Kentucky grand jury decision not to bring homicide charges against the officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Lousiville.

One officer arrived for roll call the next day, while the other officer remains in stable condition after surgery.

Protests and riots, some violent and deadly, have erupted in cities across America after the grand jury decision.

“We are going to war tonight,” an unnamed speaker told the crowd.

The speaker cautioned the crowd of the possibility of going to jail if they violate the 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. curfew imposed by Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD), Daily Caller reporter Jorge Ventura explained via Twitter.

“Some of the protesters are armed out here tonight” and taunting the police, citizen journalist Brendan Gutenschwager noted via Twitter.

“We’ve come to shut this entire city down,” protesters reportedly said as they marched Friday night to businesses in Louisville that they believe are not doing enough to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

Many protesters are completely ignoring the 9 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. curfew that went into effect Wednesday and will run each day until Monday morning at the behest of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (D).

However, police have reportedly granted amnesty to the demonstrators, allowing them to march back to their cars without getting arrested.

Friday night’s confrontation between police and protesters two hours before the curfew went into effect reportedly resulted in clashes between demonstrators and authorities.

Echoing firsthand accounts highlighted on Twitter, USA Today reported:

About two hours before the city’s 9 p.m. curfew went into effect, a clash between police and protesters had already occurred as police used flash bangs to disperse a crowd, briefly blocked the route of a march, arrested two people and declared an an unlawful assembly. In a statement, police said the incident occurred because people did not get on the sidewalk when asked to allow traffic to flow.

As has been the case throughout the protests, the First Unitarian Church in Louisville is still serving as a sanctuary or safe haven for BLM protesters, providing them with free food and refreshments as they help them evade arrest for breaking the curfew. As a religious institution, the church is reportedly exempted from the curfew.

Soon after the curfew kicked in, at least 200 people gathered at the church, according to witnesses.

“We are offering a sanctuary space here because we feel like we need a space of love,” a member of the First Unitarian Church told Ventura.

Despite the deadly unrest linked to armed and violent protesters, demonstrators lambasted the LMPD “for firing non-lethal crowd control agents at them during a peaceful assembly,” Gutenschwager added.

Mayor Greg Fischer extended the city’s curfew through the weekend after authorities arrested more than 100 people and after the shooting of the police officers during Wednesday’s protests.


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