LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A fifth day of protests in downtown Louisville began calmly Monday as crowds held signs, chanted for justice for Breonna Taylor's death and spoke with Louisville Metro Police officers, who calmly mingled through the crowd near Sixth and Jefferson streets.
One protester vowed to make it a "peaceful" protest, saying that there needed to be a sign to everyone that you can call for change without violence.
After nights of unrest that escalated to violence and looting, crowds returned Monday, still asking for justice in the death of Taylor, a former EMT who was shot and killed by LMPD officers as they carried out a "no-knock" warrant at a home in west Louisville in March. Just after 6 p.m, Kentucky State Police troopers lined the street outside Jefferson Square Park, though they left a short time later without incident.
"Our message is that the mayor needs to be listening to the demands of Breonna Taylor's family, to the demands of people of color in our city, of black people who are saying no more," said Rev. Dawn Cooley, a local faith leader.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, speaking just before 11:30 p.m. Monday, lauded the protesters for their behavior, for remaining peaceful in the wake of the shooting death of David McAtee at Broadway and 26th Street the night before. Much of that peace, he thought, was brought on by those mourning McAtee's death. He said he's impressed with what he's seen from protesters across the city.
"The vast majority of our citizens are peaceful," Fischer said.
It wasn't a day without disruption, though. Late in the afternoon, a group of LMPD officers approached the protesters and asked for hugs. The officers briefly knelt with them, but several people in the crowd doubted the sincerity, shouting that it was "fake" and saying it was "for the news."
The protesters never got as unruly as previous nights, but law enforcement officials still attempted to disperse the crowds. After hundreds of people migrated back to Jefferson Square Park, Kentucky National guardsmen and LMPD officers began to assemble. LMPD Chief Robert Schroeder said officers saw "disturbing signs" as the city's 9 p.m. curfew had come and passed. Flash bangs erupted, and tear gas was used to disperse the crowd. In less than 15 minutes, the park was clear.
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