Community

Louisville Urban League President Sadiqa Reynolds went to Thursday night’s protests to show support for Breonna Taylor’s family, and to call for much needed reforms to the way black people are treated in Louisville, she said.

But she will not be attending any protests Friday night, and cautioned people that violence and anger will not change these deeply ingrained systems.

“We cannot continue to kill ourselves in an attempt to cope with the pain of our existence in this space,” she said during a Friday afternoon press conference outside the Urban League offices. “Our fight must be strategic.”

Reynolds applauded the efforts the city has undertaken, including Friday’s announcement that no-knock warrants would be temporarily suspended. But she said there is so much more work to be done — and it shouldn’t have to fall on black protesters to do it.

“That work belongs to white people,” she said.

That is why she said she cannot condone protesters taking to the streets Friday night. She said she won’t be there, and she won’t allow her children to attend either. She worries that the peaceful protests planned by the community will turn violent from outside agitators.

But she understands the anger that is coursing through the city’s black community right now.

“People want accountability, accountability for officers who can do better, and choose not to in black communities,” she said. “We are beyond tired. Breonna Taylor is not the first but we are committed to making her the last in this community.”

As she spoke, it began to rain.

“Our city is crying,” she said, her mascara running down her face. “The rain is appropriate. We are saying: Bre is the last one.”

Eleanor Klibanoff covered Rust Belt decline and revival in Pennsylvania. She also worked for NPR and attended the George Washington University.