LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Unable to march in the streets, a group of white senior citizens staged a sit-in outside the home of Kentucky's attorney general to demand justice for Breonna Taylor on Thursday.
One of them ended up getting arrested and six others were given citations.
More than a dozen protesters gathered on the front lawn of Attorney General Daniel Cameron's suburban Louisville home. They sat in chairs they brought and held up signs that included: “Grannies for Breonna," and “Listen to Your Elders, Black Lives Matter," said 78-year-old protester Dotti Lockhart.
“We can’t march," Lockhart said in a phone interview. “We all wanted to be involved in some kind of action for Breonna Taylor’s family. ... I thought that a direct action and a little civil disobedience would be something we could risk.”
Cameron is leading the investigation into whether Louisville police officers involved in Taylor's death will be criminally charged for their actions in the early morning hours of March 13.
Taylor, a Black 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was shot multiple times when officers burst into her apartment with a warrant during a drug investigation. No drugs were found.
Since then, the names of Taylor and George Floyd have been on the lips of demonstrators nationwide, and their deaths have become part of a national reckoning over racism and police actions. Floyd, a Black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer put his knee on the handcuffed man’s neck for several minutes, even after he stopped moving and pleaded for air.
Cameron, who took over the Taylor case in May, has declined to put a timetable on deciding whether to bring charges. He has said he’s waiting for information on ballistics tests being conducted by the FBI.
The attorney general took the lead on the investigation after a local prosecutor recused himself, just as public impatience for the officers to be prosecuted was intensifying.
Protesters have gathered previously outside Cameron’s home and at Kentucky’s Capitol in Frankfort to demand justice for Taylor.
On Thursday, one protester outside Cameron's home was arrested on a misdemeanor criminal trespass charge and six others were given citations, said Grady Throneberry, police chief for Graymoor-Devondale, a suburban city outside Louisville.
He identified the protester arrested as Mary Holden. The 68-year-old retired school teacher, who said she goes by Mary Carrigan Holden, was arrested after she declined to leave, according to the chief.
“They were all told that they could move to the street, stay on the side of the street, as long as they didn't impede traffic and that would be fine," the chief said. “But they had to leave the lawn."
Lockhart, a retired school teacher, said she was among those cited. The protesters planned to stage the sit-in for an hour but police arrived quickly, she said. The officers told them they were trespassing and warned they would be arrested if they didn’t get off the lawn, she said.
She said the plan was to sit silently and then leave.
“We felt like elderly white people standing up for justice, for black families and black people was worth the risk of arrest, the risk of being cited,” Lockhart said.
Some legal experts have said prosecutors might face significant obstacles to bringing homicide-related charges against the officers. Taylor’s boyfriend was with her at the apartment and fired a shot at a police officer after the door was broken down. The officer was struck in the leg and returned fire, along with other officers outside the apartment. Taylor was unarmed.