Two Louisville police officers were shot Wednesday night during a protest over the Kentucky grand jury’s decision earlier in the day that none of the officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor will be held accountable.
As many took to the streets to express their anger, the two officers were shot after being called to a downtown Louisville intersection to investigate reports of a shooting, Interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said in a press conference late Wednesday.
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The officers were rushed to the hospital and one officer is in surgery, and the other is alert and in stable condition, according to the Courier-Journal.
Schroeder said one suspect is in custody, but did not identify him or say whether he was involved in the protests, USA Today reports.
“I’m very concerned about the safety of our officers. The safety of our officers and the community we serve is of the utmost importance,” Schroeder said, according to the outlet.
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Protests erupted across Louisville and the rest of the county as soon as the grand jury decision in the Taylor case came down Wednesday.
Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT and aspiring nurse, was shot to death by police officers while sleeping in the bedroom of her Louisville, Kentucky, apartment on March 13.
None of the three officers involved in the shooting death of Taylor — Det. Miles Cosgrove, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and former detective Brett Hankison — were charged with the fatal shooting.
Hankinson was indicted for wanton endangerment for allegedly firing bullets that risked injury to persons in adjacent apartments. Nothing determined that Hankison fired the shot that killed Taylor, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Wednesday.
Protesters in Louisville react to the grand jury decision
The shot that killed Taylor was fired by Cosgrove, according to Cameron. But no additional charges were filed against Cosgrove or Mattingly because “our investigation showed, and the grand jury agreed, Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their return of deadly fire after having been fired upon by Kenneth Walker,” Cameron said.
Walker is Taylor’s boyfriend, who was with her when the officers entered the apartment while executing a search warrant in an investigation into a suspected drug dealer.
Walker, who is a licensed gun owner, previously stated he believed it was a break-in.
An attorney for Hankison did not immediately respond to the announcement of the charges.
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Several celebrities spoke out against the decision on Wednesday, including LeBron James, who, like many NBA players, has called for justice for Taylor.
“I’ve been lost for words today! I’m devastated, hurt, sad, mad!” the Lakers star wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “We want Justice for Breonna yet justice was met for her neighbors apartment walls and not her beautiful life. Was I surprised at the verdict. Absolutely not but damnit I was & still am hurt and heavy hearted! I send my love to Breonna mother, family and friends! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!!”
George Clooney also slammed the decision and responded to the attorney general’s remarks urging those who are not residents of the state to keep their opinions regarding the grand jury’s decision in Taylor’s shooting to themselves.
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“I was born and raised in Kentucky. Cut tobacco on the farms of Kentucky. Both my parents and my sister live in Kentucky. I own a home in Kentucky, and I was there last month,” the Oscar winner said in a statement to PEOPLE.
“The justice system I was raised to believe in holds people responsible for their actions. Her name was Breonna Taylor and she was shot to death in her bed by 3 white police officers, who will not be charged with any crime for her death,” Clooney said. “I know the community. I know the commonwealth. And I was taught in the school and churches of Kentucky what is right and what is wrong. I’m ashamed of this decision.”
Taylor’s name — like Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, George Floyd in Minnesota and Jacob Blake in Wisconsin — has become one invoked nationwide during protests against police brutality and systemic racism.