Megan Sheets and Frances Mulraney, Daily Mail, September 23, 2020
A suspected gunman has been charged with ‘wanton endangerment’ after two Louisville cops were shot during protests over the Kentucky grand jury’s decision not to bring murder charges against the officers involved in Breonna’s Taylor’s death.
Larynzo Johnson was arrested Wednesday night over the cop shootings and charged with assault of a police officer and wanton endangerment – the very same charge brought against the only cop to be indicted over Taylor’s slaying.
A total of 127 protesters were arrested during unrest in Taylor’s home town of Louisville last night, with dozens more taken into custody amid demonstrations across America.
In Seattle, Washington state, 13 people were arrested on charges including property destruction, resisting arrest, failure to disperse and assault on a police officer after one cop was hit over the head with a baseball bat.
Meanwhile, shocking footage has surfaced online of a Seattle cop riding their bicycle over the head of a protester lying on the ground.
Louisville Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder said at a press conference just after 10pm Wednesday the shooting of the two officers took place at Brook Street and Broadway about 8.30pm.
Both of the officers, who have not identified, were rushed to University of Louisville Hospital.
They were both in a stable condition and one was undergoing surgery.
‘I am very concerned for the safety of our officers,’ he said. ‘Obviously we’ve had two officers shot tonight. That is very serious and a dangerous condition. I think the safety of our officers and the community we serve are of utmost importance.’
President Donald Trump took to Twitter soon after and said he was praying for the officers injured.
‘The Federal Government stands behind you and is ready to help,’ he tweeted. ‘Spoke to [Governor Andy Beshear] and we are prepared to work together, immediately upon request!’
Louisville was thrown into turmoil after a grand jury decided not to charge the officers. Instead, it handed down its decision to indict just one of the officers involved in Taylor’s killing, Brett Hankison, on charges of wanton endangerment for shooting into the homes of the 26-year-old EMT’s neighbors when they executed a warrant on March 13.
Hundreds of demonstrators chanted Taylor’s name and marched in cities like New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Las Vegas. People gathered in downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park, chanting demands for justice as passing drivers on Michigan Avenue honked their horns. Authorities unleashed chemical agents on some protesters after they tried to climb on a SWAT vehicle in Atlanta and others were arrested.
Hundreds of protesters began marching through the streets immediately after the announcement. Tensions quickly boiled over as protesters confronted lines of police officers who fired pepper balls and used wooden batons to drive them back.
The situation escalated after sunset as protesters set fire to piles of trash and Gov Beshear deployed 500 National Guard members to help enforce a city-wide 9pm curfew.
By 11pm at least 46 people had been arrested in connection with protests, according to the LMPD.
Other cities across the US also braced for a night of unrest as protests formed in New York City, Washington DC, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Chicago.
Key developments in the Taylor case and subsequent protests:
- A grand jury indicted Brett Hankison on three charges of first-degree wanton endangerment for shooting into neighbors’ homes on the night he and two other officers stormed her house with a narcotics warrant
- Protests erupted immediately after the indictment was announced as hundreds of people began marching through Louisville and facing off with police
- Two Louisville officers were shot while trying to disperse crowds ahead of the city’s 9pm curfew
- President Donald Trump tweeted prayers for the injured officers and said he’d offered to send additional support to Kentucky Gov Andy Beshear
- At least 46 people were arrested for protesting before 11pm – including a suspect in the officer shooting
- More protests erupted in New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, Philadelphia and Atlanta
- Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron defended the grand jury decision and hit out at celebrities who accused him of botching his four-month investigation into the Taylor case