Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer declared a state of emergency Tuesday pending an announcement by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron regarding the Breonna Taylor case.
Cameron is expected to say publicly whether officers who shot and killed Taylor in her home on March 13 will face criminal charges. While the time and date of such an announcement are not known, the closure of federal buildings, downtown traffic restrictions and other measures indicate it may come soon.
Fischer said in a press release that he does not know when Cameron will address the issue.
“Again, we do not know when the announcement will come, but we must prepare for it. Our goal is ensuring space and opportunity for potential protesters to gather and express their First Amendment rights after the announcement,” Fischer said, according to the release. “At the same time, we are preparing for any eventuality to keep everyone safe.”
Protests since late May have been largely peaceful, despite some occurrences of property damage and violence.
The state of emergency status allows Fischer to use any of his emergency powers. That include implementing a curfew, according to a press release.
Fischer issued a curfew order during the early days of protests, from late May to early June. At that time, National Guard members were activated in Louisville. They participated in an operation with LMPD to break up a late-night gathering at 26th Street and Broadway, blocks away from the protests, during which a Guard member shot and killed barbecue chef David McAtee. On Monday, McAtee’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against police officers and Guard members.
A spokesperson for the Kentucky National Guard has not responded to a call for comment.
New Executive Orders
Fischer issued two executive orders on Tuesday; one allows the city to acquire “additional resources” ranging from personnel to supplies, and the other closes certain downtown parking garages and limits street parking. The closures will not apply to people parking in the garages for residential or employment purposes.
The garages are Advocacy Plaza on South 7th Street, the Fourth Street Live garage on South 5th Street, the Louisville Gardens garage on South 6th Street, the garage at 300 South 3rd Street, and the parking garage at 6th Street and Market Street.
LMPD implemented traffic restrictions early Tuesday, a day after interim chief Robert Schroeder declared a state of emergency for the department. That allowed him to cancel days off and staff according to the department’s emergency plan.
Schroeder also said Tuesday morning that he does not know the details of Cameron’s announcement.