PITTSBURGH — Protests are happening across the country after officials announced no officers will be charged in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor.
Taylor, 26, was shot and killed by police in her own home in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 13.
Detective Brett Hankison, who was fired from the police department in June, was charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for shooting into Taylor’s apartment from outside, endangering the lives of three people in the apartment next door. The grand jury determined that two other officers, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, were justified in the shooting.
Protesters used social media to organize and gather at Freedom Corner in Pittsburgh’s Hill District in response to the news.
Protesters began marching around 8:30 p.m., chanting through the streets down toward PPG Paints Arena.
The protest, which began at 7 p.m., is a collective effort from community leaders -- including members of “Pittsburgh, I Can’t Breathe.” The organizer of the Black Lives Matter organization in Pittsburgh, Tanisha Long, was also there.
She sent Channel 11 the following statement:
“We are unsurprised with the decision not to charge the officers in the murder of Breonna Taylor, as we have seen this before in our own city. Loopholes are being used to excuse the murder of unarmed Black Americans. While we continue to stress the importance of fighting for Black Lives, we must focus on changing the laws and systems that allow these officers to continously walk free. We send our love to the family of Breonna Taylor, and we will continue our fight against these systematic injustices and systems of oppression.”
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto tweeted about the Breonna Taylor situation Wednesday night.
The crowd of protesters continued to march for more than an hour, going from Freedom Corner into downtown Pittsburgh.
Organizers spent a long time talking to those in attendance, and a mental health expert talked to them as well before they began marching.
She explained how important it is for activists to take the necessary time they need to make sure they are properly processing all of what is going on.
By 11 p.m., Pittsburgh Public Safety said the main group of protesters was at Ross Street sitting on the ground, while some had already dispersed.
Cox Media Group