Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Louisville home of Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron on Tuesday to protest the killing of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old woman who was shot to death by police in her Louisville home on March 13. While the three officers involved in Taylor’s death — Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, and Jonathan Cosgrove — have yet to be charged with any crime, 87 of the people who had gathered to demand justice for Taylor have been charged with a felony for “intimidating a participant in a legal process.”
According to a statement from the Louisville Metro Police, 87 people were arrested and charged with class D felony intimidation, misdemeanor disorderly conduct, and third-degree criminal trespass. Those arrested included Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Williams and former Miami Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills.
The protest, which was led by the group Until Freedom, began near Louisville’s Ballard High School on Tuesday evening. Protesters then marched from the school to the attorney general’s home, where many stood or sat on Cameron’s lawn while chanting “Say her name — Breonna Taylor.”
“TIME TO ESCALATE” Until Freedom wrote in a post before the march. “It’s been 116+ days since #BreonnaTaylor was murdered at the hands of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Not one single police officer has been held accountable. We won’t stand for it. We are coming to demand justice — ready to put our bodies on the line.”
Per CBS News, Cameron said in a statement that the group’s stated goal to “escalate” was “not acceptable,” and that “justice is not achieved by trespassing on private property, and it’s not achieved through escalation. It’s achieved by examining the facts in an impartial and unbiased manner. That is exactly what we are doing and will continue to do in this investigation.”
Corey Shapiro, the legal director of the ACLU of Kentucky, condemned the mass arrest and charging of protesters, and said in an email to NBC News that it was a way for Louisville law enforcement to muzzle and discourage demonstrators.
“This action is an overblown, outrageous, and inappropriate reaction to a community that is rightfully upset with its government’s delay in holding the police accountable,” Shapiro said. “The only purpose these charges seem to serve is to potentially chill the free speech rights of the protesters.”
As for the three officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death, they have yet to be charged with any crime. Brett Hankison was fired from the police department on June 23, and Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Cosgrove have been placed on administrative leave.