Louisville prepares for civil unrest after court decision on police officers in Breonna Taylor case

Mayor Greg Fischer preemptively declared a state of emergency in Kentucky's largest city

Updated: September 23, 2020 - 2:47pm

Louisville, Ky., officials are preparing for more protests and the possibility of civil unrest following the state attorney general's pending decision on whether to bring charges against police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.

The decision is expected this week. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has declared a state of emergency in advance of the decision. And police officials plan to restrict access to the city's downtown as a safety precaution. They have also placed barricades around Jefferson Square Park, where protests over Taylor's death took place earlier this summer. 

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

State Attorney General Daniel Cameron said earlier this month that "an investigation, if done properly, cannot follow a certain timeline." 

On March 13, Taylor, a black female and 26-year-old emergency room technician, was shot five times in her apartment by officers who entered using a no-knock warrant. The warrant was issued in connection with a drug investigation regarding a suspect who did not live at Taylor's residence. No drugs were found in the apartment.

Federal officials have already closed the Louisville courthouse and other U.S. government buildings for the week. 

Last week, Louisville settled a suit from the Taylor family for $12 million, also pledging to implement several police reforms as part of the deal.