Leaders want grand jury information released in Taylor case


(The Center Square) - A tense night of protests and violence in Louisville, Ky., on Wednesday ended with calls from Kentucky’s governor and Louisville’s mayor for an end to the bloodshed and a plea for demonstrators to go home. 

Those requests came hours after the two Democratic leaders urged the Republican state attorney general to make at least parts of the grand jury report in the Breonna Taylor shooting case public. 

Interim Louisville Metro Police Chief Rob Schroeder said 127 people were arrested during the protests. That includes Larynzo D. Johnson, who was charged with two counts of assault and 14 counts of wanton endangerment after police allege he shot two officers during the demonstrations. 

Maj. Aubrey Gregory was shot in the hip and was treated and released Wednesday night. Officer Robinson Desroches suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen and is in stable condition after surgery.  

Three other officers were injured or needed treatment in separate incidents. Schroeder also said there were 16 reported looting incidents across the city. 

The shootings prompted the pleas from Gov. Andy Beshear and Mayor Greg Fischer. 

“We know that the answer to violence is never violence,” Beshear said. 

President Trump tweeted that he spoke with Beshear and said the federal government was “ready to help.” An FBI SWAT team did respond to the scene where the officers were shot and aided in the investigation. 

Demonstrators took to the streets after a grand jury returned no indictments against three current and former Louisville Metro Police Department officers in Taylor’s death. In March, officers shot the unarmed 26-year-old Black woman in her apartment as they tried to execute a warrant tied to a narcotics investigation.  

Kenneth Walker, her boyfriend, shot at officers believing they were intruders but was not injured as police returned fire. Walker was initially charged with attempted murder of a police officer after one of the officers was injured in the shooting, but prosecutors dropped the case. 

Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office took over the investigation four months ago and presented the case to the grand jury. The panel chose to only indict former officer Brett Hankison on felony wanton endangerment charges for his shots that went into a neighbor’s apartment.  

Hankison was fired in June. The other two officers involved in the Taylor shooting remain on administrative leave as an internal investigation is ongoing. 

Cameron answered questions about the grand jury investigation for about an hour Wednesday, but said he would not release the grand jury report now because Hankison was indicted and a federal investigation is still ongoing. 

“At this point, I don't think it's appropriate for us to release any information,” Cameron said. 

Beshear and Fischer both, however, said the public has a right to know what the grand jury heard. 

“I believe that any information that does not jeopardize the attorney general’s case, the FBI case should now be open for the public to see, to be informed about all the facts in the case,” Fischer said. 

Thursday is the second day of the mayor’s three-day curfew for the city. The curfew will again take effect at 9 p.m., and Fischer urged anyone who wanted to protest to do so during the daytime. 

* This article was originally published here

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