More than 1,000 people defied a second night of curfew in the US city of Louisville to protest over the lack of criminal charges in the police killing of Breonna Taylor, with some seeking refuge in a church.
Two officers were shot during clashes in Louisville a day earlier, after authorities announced a grand jury had decided not to charge anyone in connection with the death of Taylor – a 26-year-old black woman shot dead in her apartment by police earlier this year.
“Until we afford Black people the basic rights promised by our founders – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – and end the rampage of the devil of racism, we will know no peace,” her family’s lawyer Ben Crump said in an opinion piece in The Washington Post.
Over a thousand people protested Thursday evening in the city center, much of which was closed to traffic, with several shops boarded up in anticipation of more violence.
“No way we can be peaceful any longer,” said Michael Pyles, a 29-year-old black man who said he has been protesting for 120 days, and had a 9mm handgun on his hip.
“We’re out here to protect our people and the people who support us,” he said. “We are under attack.”
Grace Pennix, 19, who is also African American, said she can’t help but place herself in Taylor’s shoes.
“I often be passing by my front door and thinking, dang, the police could be coming at my door and shoot me and kill me just like they did with Breonna.
“It could be me, my friend, cousin, aunt, mom,” she said.
The city of Louisville settled a wrongful death suit with Taylor’s family for $12 million last week.