Anger over Breonna Taylor case fuels new protests

CityLab Daily

Keep saying her name: Wednesday's decision not to charge Kentucky police officers for the killing of Breonna Taylor has ignited a fresh wave of protests in the U.S. Anger and frustration were palpable as protesters spilled into the streets in multiple cities after a grand jury indicted just one officer on wanton endangerment charges for blindly firing his gun and endangering not Taylor herself, but her neighbors. 

Protests remained largely peaceful in a handful of cities, but in others, tensions flared as demonstrators clashed with local and federal law enforcement. In Louisville, where the decision was made, nearly 100 people were arrested overnight and two police officers were shot. In Portland, Oregon, the police declared the protest a riot as some people broke off from the main crowd and targeted a police precinct with fire and rocks. In downtown Atlanta, police fired tear gas to break up crowds.

Meanwhile in both Denver and Buffalo, New York, demonstrators witnessed a harrowing scene as drivers plowed into crowds of people with their vehicles — a tactic that became an alarmingly common response to this summer's George Floyd protests. As Kriston Capps wrote in June, "using cars and trucks as instruments of terror is already a technique that's been used extensively globally. Lately, it's been adopted and honed in the U.S. — particularly by white supremacists."

Taylor's family is calling for the grand jury transcript to be released, and an FBI investigation into potential civil rights violation is ongoing. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron also told reporters that he'd ask for a statewide task force to investigate how police obtain search warrants. Until then, activists and political leaders are urging America not to forget Taylor's name. "We must never stop speaking Breonna's name as we work to reform our justice system, including overhauling no-knock warrants," vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris wrote in a tweet.

-Linda Poon

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What we're reading

  • 'Vigorous' self-defense laws likely prevented homicide charges in Breonna Taylor's death, experts say (Louisville Courier Journal)
  • In a virtual classroom, how do you care for kids threatened by gun violence? (The Trace)
  • Can algorithms violate fair housing laws? (The Markup)
  • Idiocy or genius? Chicago commuter railway tries quarantining anti-maskers in a separate car (Streetsblog)
  • This is the casual racism that I face at my elite high school (New York Times)


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