Dozens of protesters gathered in front of Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s house Saturday night in suburban Louisville. They were calling on Cameron to resign over his decision not to recommend any charges for the death of Breonna Taylor. Police in riot gear confronted protesters, but there were no arrests.
“Tonight’s occupation went great,” protester Israel McCullough said. “No arrests. It’s remarkable.”
That wasn’t a given. The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) has arrested protesters in the last two demonstrations on Cameron’s lawn, charging some with felonies. At the beginning of the evening, McCullough said he anticipated there would be some arrests, but he was willing to risk it.
“We need for him [Cameron] to resign. We need a new prosecutor. We need a new grand jury to take over the case so that at some point Breonna Taylor will get the justice that she needs,” he said.
“History has its eyes on him,” protester Millicent Cahoon said of Cameron. “He’s just going to be on the wrong side of history.”
Protesters initially gathered on the lawn of one of Cameron’s neighbors, who gave them permission to be there. As darkness fell, glow sticks were passed around. So were s’mores and hot-dogs. Some protesters created light-up signs, or arrived in elaborate costumes. Amanda Fuller was dressed as a chicken, with a sign that read “Afraid for us to know the truth?” She and Justin Mog had been to protests downtown before, but not at Cameron’s home.
“It’s important to bring it to the ‘burbs,” Mog said.
As protesters made their way to Cameron’s house, leaders warned people to stay off the lawn and in the public street as a way to avoid arrest. They chanted Breonna Taylor’s name in the street outside of Cameron’s home, and sang and danced to “Bow for Breonna,” a viral song by artist C Tez, who made an appearance.
A little after 8 p.m., dozens of LMPD officers showed up with riot gear, batons and “Rapid Response” vehicles. They gathered into a block formation and corralled protesters back onto the neighbor’s property.
There was a standoff for more than an hour. While a formation of officers encircled them, protesters continued to sing, dance and chant, and play cornhole on the lawn. The police declared the assembly unlawful — usually the precursor to arrests or the discharge of pepper balls. Some protesters approached the line to ask to leave but were told they could not, because officers wouldn’t let anyone behind the police line.
Finally, officers retreated, marching slowly backwards down the street, and the night ended without arrests.
McCullough said the police tactics were similar to what they’ve seen over the last 150 days of protest.
“They’re out here to incite that fear in us,” he said. “But the fact is, we’re not going anywhere. We’re still going to be out here, as long as it takes, until our voices are heard.”