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Jefferson Square Park, now enforcing standard park procedures, clearing Taylor Memorial

Published: Mar. 15, 2021 at 9:46 PM EDT
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Protesters, police reflect on changes since Breonna Taylor's death
Protesters, police reflect on changes since Breonna Taylor's death(WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - For nearly a year, it was the epicenter of the Breonna Taylor protests.

Monday, work began to disassemble and preserve the Breonna Taylor memorial in Jefferson Square Park.

Protesters spent early Monday clearing the Breonna Taylor memorial. Some cried as they carried it away piece by piece.

“I think everybody is beside themselves, and it really hit’s everyone hard,” Aron Conaway said. “It’s immediately on the heels of Breonna’s death anniversary.”

Taylor was shot dead during a botched police raid at her apartment in March 2020.

Conaway is the artist behind a picture of Taylor, which has become an iconic symbol throughout the protests. It, along with candles, signs and other items are now gone after protesters gathered everything, so it would not be lost.

“We’re not going to let anything get thrown away,” Rosie Henderson said. “They gave us a little time to get everything cleaned up.”

The city released a memo saying, in part, that Jefferson Square Park is a shared, public space, adding that the park will be cleaned every day, and a permit is needed for any event being held here.

“But the movement will continue,” Henderson said. “We’re not going to stop. We’re going to keep going.”

Protesters said they will take pieces of the memorial home and bring them out any time they plan a future event.

The city said a placard will be placed in the park to honor Taylor at some point in the spring.

Below is a partial statement from Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer:

“When people come to see this park, where the local 2020 demonstrations were centered, prompting public safety reforms and a movement toward greater racial equity, we want them to come to a beautiful, safe and inviting space. And given its historic role as a site to remember first responders who died in the line of duty, we have a real opportunity to create a space for unity, for broader understanding and compassion. That’s something we will only achieve by working together, and I am confident our city will rise to this moment.”

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