A man was shot and killed in Louisville, Kentucky, on Sunday night after police officers and National Guard troops began firing into a crowd.
Residents have taken to the streets of Louisville, like thousands of Americans around the country, to protest the killings of black people at the hands of police — specifically, George Floyd, who was pinned in the neck by a Minneapolis police officer, and Breonna Taylor, who was shot in her Louisville apartment in March by officers who were looking for someone else. At many protests across America, police have attacked protesters, beating them with batons, shooting them with rubber bullets, and driving cars into a crowd.
In downtown Louisville on Sunday night, police and the National Guard were sent to break up a crowd that had gathered in a parking lot, Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad said in a statement, according to NBC.
Officers “were shot at,” Conrad said, and they “returned fire.” Now, a man is dead.
Officials have not yet confirmed his identity, or who fired the shot. But here is what we do know about the incident on Sunday that ended in his death.
What we know
- Police and the National Guard were sent to a parking lot at 26th and Broadway in Louisville on Sunday at about 12:15 pm, according to NBC. Like many cities around the country in recent days, Louisville has imposed a curfew, which began at 9 pm.
- Police say they began shooting after being fired on by the crowd. “Officers and soldiers began to clear the lot and at some point were shot at,” Conrad said in his statement. “Both LMPD and national guard members returned fire.”
- A man was fatally shot.
- It is not clear whether the crowd in the parking lot were actually protesting at the time. One bystander told reporters they were not engaged in protest, and were merely out past the city’s curfew.
- Police say they are collecting video and investigating the killing.
- Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has ordered an independent investigation by state police. “Given the seriousness of the situation, I have authorized the Kentucky State Police to independently investigate the event,” he said in a statement Monday.
What we don’t know
What we know about the protests and police violence in Louisville and around the country
- Louisville residents have been rising up in recent days against police violence around the country, and in their hometown. On March 13, Breonna Taylor, an EMT who was providing health care during the coronavirus pandemic, was shot and killed in her apartment at night by police looking for someone who didn’t live there.
- The FBI recently opened an investigation into Taylor’s killing. As public attention to Taylor’s death grew in May, Conrad, the police chief, announced his upcoming retirement. He is slated to retire in June.
- Seven people were shot at a protest in Louisville on Thursday night. However, the mayor said at the time that police were not responsible for the shooting.
- On Friday night, police shot two journalists at local station WAVE 3 News with pepper balls as they were reporting on the protests. “The two had been following police instructions, were standing behind the police line when they were fired upon, and were not disrupting or otherwise interfering with law enforcement,” WAVE 3 News General Manager Ken Selvaggi said in a statement.
- Across the nation, police officers have repeatedly been captured on camera in recent days attacking protesters, beating them with batons, ramming them with cars, and even spraying mace at a child.
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