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Protesters Gather In Bloomington After Officers Cleared In Breonna Taylor Killing

About two dozen Black Lives Matter protesters gathered Wednesday in downtown Bloomington to express their anger and sadness after a Kentucky grand jury decided not to indict three Louisville police officers for their roles in Breonna Taylor’s shooting death.
Cinnamon Porter, a leader with BLM BloNo, said she was disappointed--but not surprised--the officers won’t face justice in Taylor's death.

“We have seen it time and time again, and a lot of us already had a feeling on what the outcome was going to be when they prepared to shut down the city earlier this week,” Porter said. “It’s unfortunate, but the people are saying that this won’t be tolerated and we are going to fight back against it.”

A grand jury indicted a former Louisville officer, detective Brett Hankinson, with wanton endangerment, but those charges are not directly related to Taylor’s death. Two other officers were not charged.

Taylor’s death, stemming from a no-knock warrant at her apartment in March, helped ignite a national movement to protest police violence against Blacks.

As cars passing along Washington Street outside the McLean County Museum of History honked their horns in support, Porter said the racial justice movement hasn’t lost momentum, even if the number of public demonstrations has dropped off.

Demonstrators gathered outside the McLean County Museum of History Wednesday to protest a grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor killing by police.
Credit People holding protest signs / Eric Stock
Eric Stock
Protesters shouted at police during a traffic stop as they gathered following a grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor killing by police.

“The movement hasn’t stopped. Sometimes the movement is out loud and in public and sometimes we have to put in work behind doors, but the movement hasn’t stopped and we are going to keep showing up when people need us,” Porter said.

Louis Goseland, a BLM volunteer and spokesperson for the Bloomington-Normal Democratic Socialists of America, said officers involved in Taylor’s death should have been charged with murder. He called it another sign of systemic injustice.

“We are gathering as a community in mourning and to support people who have been disappointed yet again [at] this system’s failure to protect Black people from state violence,” Goseland said.

Many of the protesters who were chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “Defund the Police” turned their attention to a local traffic stop where police took a Black man into custody.

But Bloomington Police Sgt. Aaron Veerman said the arrest of the driver at the corner of Washington and East streets shortly before 6 p.m. was unrelated to the demonstration. Veerman said the driver reportedly fled the scene after crashing into a city bus. His vehicle was towed from the scene. Veerman said no injuries were reported. 

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.