Community

Protesters hit the streets for the eighth straight day in Louisville on Thursday in response to the shooting deaths of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee in incidents involving Louisville Metro Police Department officers.

Rain started early in the evening, with the persistent downpour lasting for the duration of the protest. That wasn’t enough to stop a large caravan of people and vehicles from making its way through the city, touching nearly every corner of downtown from Broadway to the Ohio River.

 

The chants and honking horns made the scene as loud as it was wet. Protester James Johnson described the atmosphere as a “good vibe,” praising the community for coming together peacefully to make their voices heard.

“Everybody came out,” he said. “We’re drenched. We’re soaking wet. There’s white people, there’s black people, there’s Mexicans. There’s all types of races out here. We’re together, we’re one.”

While the protest seemed almost festive, at the end of the day, it was about seeking justice for Taylor and McAtee. Ashley Brown and her sister, Jessica Henderson, each brought their children, ranging from ages 5 to 16, to the event.

Ryan Van Velzer | wfpl.org

Brown said it’s important for young people of color to be aware of the potential dangers they’ll face in life. But she also wanted them to know that they can make a difference, and for them to look back in 20 years and remember that she tried to be a part of that change.

“She didn’t just sit there and let this happen to me,” she said, imagining herself as her children in the future. “She didn’t tell me life is unfair and just sat there and let it be unfair. She did this and she did that, and she did her best. And that’s what I’m out here doing. I’m doing my best.”

Police presence was at a minimum throughout the evening. After making their way to the Big Four Bridge, protesters called it a night at around 10:30 p.m.

A separate group gathered in the Highlands until midnight to commemorate what would have been Taylor’s 27th birthday on Friday. Protests are expected to continue through the weekend.

Ryan Van Velzer | wfpl.org

 

John Boyle covers southern Indiana communities and health for WFPL News. He is a Report for America Corps member.