Dozens of people protesting Breonna Taylor’s police death were arrested Tuesday outside the home of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, authorities said.
Eighty-seven people face a felony of intimidation against a participant in a legal process, police said.
“Protesters chose to occupy the front yard of a house owned by the Kentucky Attorney General and continually sang to him and his neighbors,” said Sgt. Lamont Washington of the Louisville Metro Police Department said in a statement. “Everyone was given the opportunity to leave, they were told that staying on the property would be illegal and they decided not to leave.”
The group had gathered to protest the death of Taylor, 26, who was fatally shot by police four months ago. Officers used a “do not touch” order to enter Taylor’s apartment on March 13, and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, 27, believing that a criminal was entering, fired a weapon and wounded an officer. He was charged with assault and attempted murder of a police officer, but the charges have been dropped.
Police have said they were identified when they entered, but the Walker and Taylor family have disputed that account.
Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician Black, died after she was hit at least eight times during a subsequent shooting.
The raid was part of a search warrant for Taylor’s house; Police said they believed the 26-year-old was hiding drugs for the primary purpose of his investigation. A wrongful death lawsuit filed by Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, says authorities found no drugs in the home.
One of the three officers involved was fired last month, and the other two officers were placed on administrative leave.
The FBI, the United States Attorney’s Office and the state attorney general’s office are investigating the case.
Protesters are calling for officers to be charged, and have accused investigators of dragging their feet.
On Tuesday afternoon, a group of protesters marched from a high school to Cameron’s home, police said. They sang, “Say her name: Breonna Taylor,” wore matching shirts with the name of the nonprofit organization Hasta la Libertad, and wore masks named Taylor.
“It has been more than 116 days since Breonna Taylor was killed by the Louisville Police Department and no one has been held responsible,” even Freedom said on its website. “Now we must intensify our actions so that the known powers do not stop until we do justice to Breonna and her family.”
Cameron said in a statement that occupying his lawn was unacceptable.
“From the beginning, our office set out to do its job, thoroughly investigate the events surrounding the death of Ms. Breonna Taylor,” he said. “We continue with a thorough and fair investigation, and today’s events will not alter our search for the truth. The stated objective of today’s protest at my home was to ‘climb’. That is not acceptable and only serves for further division and tension within our community. “
The dozens of people arrested Tuesday also face charges of disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing, Washington said. “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Porsha Williams was among those detained, according to NBC affiliate WAVE of Louisville.
Corey Shapiro, legal director of the Kentucky ACLU, said by email that the Louisville Metro Police Department’s use of a felony charge against protesters was designed to silence protests.
“The Kentucky ACLU condemns LMPD to accuse these peaceful protesters of ‘intimidating a participant in a legal process,'” he said. “This action is an overreaction, scandalous and inappropriate reaction to a community that is legitimately upset with the delay of its government in holding the police accountable. The only purpose that these charges seem to serve is to cool down the freedom of expression rights of the protesters” .
Alexander Mitchell contributed