LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Protesters in Louisville say it was an overreaction to board up buildings and create barricades downtown as the city braces for a grand jury’s decision in the Breonna Taylor case.
“This tells us that they want to cage us in [and] actually direct us in the direction they want us to go so they can harm us,” protester Kejohn Jennings said.
Protests in Louisville have continued for 118 days straight in the name of Breonna Taylor. While many have been non-violent, the first few nights resulted in shootings, fires, and damage to local businesses.
“All we want… make a decision whether it’s good or bad, but they boarding up like they ready for war,” Rosie Henderson said.
Henderson has protested at Jefferson Square Park since the unrest began in May and she hopes things will remain peaceful no matter the grand jury’s decision.
“If we don’t control the narrative then they win, as soon as we not peaceful and we start tearing up then they win,” she said. “All we can do is pray no one gets hurt.”
Jennings believes tensions are high among protesters.
(Story continues below photo)
“We’re kind of scared of what the outcome is, we’re scared that they aren’t going to charge any officers at all, we scared somethings going to come out that we didn’t know before,” he said.
He believes most protesters don’t intend to riot or cause destruction, although he has concerns about groups from out of town.
- The Possibility City is plastered in plywood
- Ronald McDonald House temporarily moves families from downtown location
- Downtown employees told to work from home indefinitely
- Barriers erected around West Broadway grocery
- ‘A bunch of madness:’ Emotional frontline worker reacts to barricades at Norton Children’s Hospital
- 4th Street business owners nervous as grand jury’s Breonna Taylor decision looms
- Some JCPS schools make travel changes awaiting Breonna Taylor decision
Aarykah Walton, who lives in Louisville, has also joined several protests over the past 118 days. She said she is done being peaceful.
“I’m tired of waiting. The non-violent, they waiting. Me and mines, we active,” she said. “I’m done being peaceful. You can read between the lines on that.”
Walton walked away without explaining what exactly she means.
Henderson tells WAVE 3 she will take it upon herself to stop anyone from being violent. She also had a message for any agitators from out of town.
“Hit the freeway, we don’t need it, we don’t want it and we not going to let it happen,” she said.
Several organizations, including Until Freedom, will host a “mass non-violent” direct action training session at noon Wednesday in Jefferson Square Park.
Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.