Shots were fired at officers in Louisville, Kentucky on Wednesday night as leftist-driven anti-police riots broke out following the grand jury’s decision earlier in the day to not charge any officers with the death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot during a police raid at her apartment during the execution of a search warrant.
“One officer was shot in the abdomen below their bulletproof vest and is in surgery, and a second was shot in the thigh, according to the source,” the Courier-Journal reported. “MetroSafe said it received reports the shooting occurred at South Brook Street and Broadway Avenue.”
Journalists have identified the rioters as Black Lives Matter activists through videos posted on social media.
Interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said “the officers were shot after investigating reports of gunfire at an intersection where there was a large crowd,” The Associated Press reported. “Several shots rang out as protesters in downtown Louisville tried to avoid police blockades, moving down an alleyway as officers lobbed pepper balls, according to an Associated Press journalist. People covered their ears, ran away and frantically looked for places to hide.”
President Donald Trump tweeted his support for the officers later in the evening.
Republican Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron held a press conference earlier during the day in which he discussed a grand jury’s decision on the Breonna Taylor case, saying:
What I can provide today are the facts, which my office has worked long and hard to uncover, analyze, and scrutinize since accepting this case in mid May.
I urge everyone listening today to not lose sight of the fact that a life has been lost—a tragedy under any circumstances. The decision before my office as the special prosecutor in this case was not to decide if the loss of Ms. Taylor’s life was a tragedy.
The answer to that question is unequivocally yes. There is no doubt that this is a gut-wrenching, emotional case, and the pain that many people are feeling is understandable. I deeply care about the value and sanctity of human life. It deserves protection. And in this case, a human life was lost. We cannot forget that.
My job as the special prosecutor in this case was to put emotions aside and investigate the facts to determine if criminal violations of state law resulted in the loss of Ms. Taylor’s life.
Cameron continued, discussing the actions of the officers involved in the case, and how the investigation was divided between state and federal authorities:
This included examining the actions of Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, Detective Brett Hankison, and Detective Myles Cosgrove, the three officers who fired their weapons in the early morning hours of March 13. In working with our federal partners on this case, it was determined that while we would share information to advance our respective investigations, we must also maintain some level of separation to ensure the integrity of each investigation.
When examining issues regarding potential civil rights violations, we determined that any such violations are better addressed through a federal-led investigation, and issues involving potential criminal acts concerning the shooting are better addressed by a state-led investigation.
The Kentucky attorney general also discussed the level of career experience of the investigation team, and their focus on examining the case with thorough fairness in an effort to find the truth:
With this in mind, our investigation focused on the events that took place in Ms. Taylor’s apartment on March 13th. In the months since taking this case, [our] dedicated team of prosecutors and investigators with more than 200 years of combined career experience conducted a thorough investigation to better understand the events that led to Ms. Taylor’s death.
The team is here with me today. I want to personally and publicly thank them for their tireless work. These men and women are true public servants, who for months have shown up every day with a desire for one thing, and that is to seek the truth. We decided while we would examine materials gathered by LMPD’s public integrity unit, we would need to conduct our own independent investigation and start from scratch in the interest of thoroughness, fairness, and finding the truth.”
Speaking about the lack of body camera footage of the officers' attempted execution of a search warrant at Ms. Taylor's residence, Cameron explained:
Video footage begins at the point that area patrol officers arrive at the location. Therefore, the sequence of events from March 13 had to be pieced together through ballistics evidence, 911 calls, police radio traffic, and interviews.
We utilized information from the Kentucky State Police, local medical examiners, as well as working with the FBI crime lab in Quantico to secure a trajectory analysis and ballistics report. Our team conducted interviews in this case and spent thousands of hours examining all of the available evidence. We concluded our last interview in this case this past Friday and began our grand jury presentation on Monday.