Protests Continue

Sep 26, 2020

On 24 September 2020, protests continued for a second consecutive night in central Louisville, Kentucky, to denounce a grand jury decision not to file homicide charges against police officers who shot and killed a 26-year-old Black woman at her residence on 13 March. A tense standoff between police officers and protesters occurred at a church where protesters had taken refuge to avoid being detained; however, no clashes broke out at the site. According to local officials, protesters elsewhere in the downtown area damaged city buses, attempted to set a fire and smashed windows of a restaurant. Earlier in the day, demonstrators associated with the Black Lives Matter protest movement engaged in a brief verbal confrontation with approximately a dozen counterprotesters — many of whom were armed with high-powered firearms and were dressed in military-style uniforms — reportedly members of the Oath Keepers group that claims to be a nonpartisan association of current and former security personnel protecting the U.S. Constitution, but is often cited as an example of a radical anti-government group. While there were no reports of clashes or injuries, police officers arrested at least 24 protesters overnight on 24-25 September. Most of the detainees were arrested near the Louisville Free Public Library shortly after the nightly curfew came into effect at 2100 local time on 24 September (0100 UTC on 25 September). The mayor of Louisville has extended the citywide curfew from 2100-0630 local time until the morning of 28 September, and approximately 500 Kentucky National Guard troops remain stationed in the city.

Associated protest gatherings occurred in major U.S. cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C, overnight on 24-25 September. These protests were smaller in scale compared to the previous day and concluded largely peacefully. In Los Angeles, a motorist drove a vehicle through a group of protesters, injuring one individual on Sunset Boulevard in the Hollywood area. Such demonstrations in Louisville and other major U.S. cities are highly likely to continue through the upcoming weekend and are especially prone to turn violent during the nighttime hours.

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