LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The second night of protests and increased unrest and vandalism forces Mayor Greg Fischer (D) and Governor Andy Beshear (D) to activate the National Guard to assist Louisville Metro Police.
Fischer announced Saturday morning after surveying the damage, he is also implementing a dawn-to-dusk curfew at least for the next two days. The curfew will be enforced from 9:00 pm until 6:30 am.
“Our goal was to keep protests peaceful,” he said, “but as evening came, that intent on destruction began breaking windows, setting fires and looting businesses.”
Fischer thanked those who gathered and participated in peaceful protests and who were able to express anger, pain, and frustration over the death of Breonna Taylor. But added he was furious “outside agitators” turned the event into violence and destruction.
Governor Beshear said, “The demonstrations in Louisville have all started peacefully, but what we have seen, especially last night, and what our intelligence says is going to happen are outside groups moving in, trying to create violence to harm everybody who is on those streets. We cannot let Breonna’s legacy be marred by violence, and we can’t let our streets turn violent.
The Mayor said the Louisville Metro Police Department and other law enforcement agencies including the Kentucky State Police, were determined to keep people safe after seven people were shot Thursday night.
LMPD Public Information Officer Jessie Halladay confirmed six people were arrested, some because of looting. Six police officers were injured. Two of the officers are dealing with possible concussions after having everything from fireworks, water bottles, and even Molotov cocktails thrown at them. Halladay said LMPD wanted people to express themselves, but when the events of the night changed, the tactics of LMPD had to change as well. The tactic for the beginning of the evening was that of preserving life and safety. As the night went on, Halladay said the officers were overwhelmed. They were faced with people trying to fight them, some carrying hammers, long guns, and shields. Preserving life and safety changed to stopping criminal behavior. That was difficult for LMPD because groups of people were moving all around the city.
Mayor Fischer called those causing trouble “out-of-town anarchists” whose intent is to destroy the city.
“First and foremost, we need people to stay home,” the Mayor said. “If you’re a Louisvillian and you want to help us, stay home.”
“I have talked to Breonna’s family again this morning,” the Mayor added. “Violence, destruction, bashing, and looting of our local businesses, is not the way to honor Breonna.”
Approximately 350 Kentucky Guardsmen are reporting for State Active Duty support.
Approximately 350 Kentucky Guardsmen are being directed to report immediately for State Active Duty support. They will help LMPD maintain peace and protect critical infrastructure.
“We’re fully prepared to support the LMPD and other state agencies in protecting lives and preserving property,” said Brig. Gen. Hal Lamberton, Adjutant General of the Kentucky National Guard. “We will help ensure that our Kentucky citizens have the right to demonstrate peacefully and safely.”