Louisville Mayor Declares State Of Emergency Ahead Of Breonna Taylor Announcement

Sep 22, 2020
Originally published on September 23, 2020 9:22 am

Greg Fischer, the mayor of Louisville, Ky., said Tuesday he has declared a state of emergency for the city "due to the potential for civil unrest."

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is poised to announce whether his office will bring charges against the police officers who fatally shot 26-year-old Breonna Taylor during a botched narcotics raid at her home on March 13.

The mayor reiterated he has no insight about when Cameron's decision will be announced, but he said the city must be prepared.

"Our goal is ensuring space and opportunity for potential protesters to gather and express their First Amendment rights after the announcement," Fischer said in a statement. "At the same time, we are preparing for any eventuality to keep everyone safe."

The move comes a week after Fischer announced the city would pay Taylor's family $12 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit as well as to institute several police reforms.

The executive order allows the mayor to "exercise any of his emergency powers," which include the ability to hire or contract services and enact curfews and other restrictions, according to a statement the mayor tweeted Tuesday.

Another executive order restricts access to five parking garages in the city's downtown area and bans street parking in some areas.

The goal, according to the mayor's statement, is to "provide an extra layer of security for protests" in and around the city's Jefferson Square Park, the site of demonstrations this summer.

The mayor issued a curfew in late May and early June during the early days of the demonstrations, and the National Guard was activated, Louisville NPR member station WFPL reported.

The mayor's announcement comes on the heels of the Louisville Metro Police Department saying that "a decision was made to accelerate plans" to restrict access to several parts of downtown.

A federal judge ordered the Gene Snyder U.S. Courthouse and Custom House would be closed this week, also in anticipation of Cameron's decision, according to Louisville's Courier-Journal.

Earlier this month, Cameron, Kentucky's first Black attorney general, said in a statement that the investigation, "if done properly, cannot follow a specific timeline."

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