‘We will not let this go’: Protesters call Hankison not guilty verdict ‘an injustice’
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Protesters marched through downtown Louisville from 4th Street to Broadway following the not guilty verdict in the trial of former LMPD officer, Brett Hankison, who was charged with shooting into Breonna Taylor’s neighbor’s apartment during the botched raid that ended in her death.
“I personally broke down afterwards, because I felt like we went through so much trauma protesting for almost two years, and it feels like for nothing,” Cheyenne Osuala, a protester who watched the trial from the courtroom said.
Osuala told WAVE News when she found out the jury deliberated for less than three hours before agreeing on a verdict, she believed they’d convict Hankison, especially after the prosecution’s evidence and closing arguments.
Protesters gathered at Jefferson Square Park on Thursday night to discuss their thoughts on the verdict, then marched through the streets calling for change.
Other protesters said Hankison never should have become a police officer because he claimed he was in fear for his life during the March 13, 2020 raid.
“If I sign up for the Marines right now, I know there’s a chance I can go to war and die,” Chris Will, a protester said. “So, then you shouldn’t sign up to do that job. You shouldn’t sign up to be a cop if you are scared in any way, shape, form or fashion.”
Many blame the city’s leadership, especially the mayor for what they called a lack of accountability within LMPD.
“The city’s leadership failed us today,” one protester said.
During the march through 4th Street, protesters waved a large flag that said, “Black Lives Matter,” got on top of tables, chanted to diners and stood in the streets.
“There’s no such thing as a peaceful protest,” Will said. “You cannot tell us how to protest; you can’t control the protests; you can’t control a wildfire, you can try to put it, but you cannot control it, so we won’t be controlled this time, we will be effective this time, and we will not let this go.”
Protesters encouraged people to vote during the next mayoral election and select a candidate who can make positive change.
Another protest is scheduled Friday at Jefferson Square Park at 3 p.m.
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