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‘We Are Going to War:’ Some Armed Protesters Gather in Louisville Days After Officers Shot

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Louisville, Kentucky, police clashed with hundreds of protesters, some armed, participating in a “peaceful” gathering deemed unlawful by authorities, who dispersed the crowd two hours before the 9 p.m. curfew went into effect using flashbangs, several witnesses and videos revealed via Twitter on Friday night.

Friday’s confrontation occurred after the Wednesday shooting to two police officers during violent protests in the wake of a Kentucky grand jury decision not to bring homicide charges against the officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Lousiville.

One officer arrived for roll call the next day, while the other officer remains in stable condition after surgery.

Protests and riots, some violent and deadly, have erupted in cities across America after the grand jury decision.

Police close in on the peaceful march near 7 pm, surrounding them 2 hours before curfew #Louisville #LouisvilleProtests pic.twitter.com/3VdPAQqvxb

— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) September 25, 2020

Police declare the gathering an unlawful assembly and order the crowd to disperse #Louisville #LouisvilleProtests #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/w6c0dlWWpk

— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) September 25, 2020

“We are going to war tonight,” an unnamed speaker told the crowd.

The speaker cautioned the crowd of the possibility of going to jail if they violate the 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. curfew imposed by Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD), Daily Caller reporter Jorge Ventura explained via Twitter.

“We are going to war tonight” speaker tells crowd in #Louisville and warns the crowd of possibility of going to jail if they are out past the 9pm curfew pic.twitter.com/wZf9s8v9jC

— Jorge Ventura Media (@VenturaReport) September 25, 2020

“Some of the protesters are armed out here tonight” and taunting the police, citizen journalist Brendan Gutenschwager noted via Twitter.

“We’ve come to shut this entire city down,” protesters reportedly said as they marched Friday night to businesses in Louisville that they believe are not doing enough to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

“We’ve come to shut this entire city down” Protesters are marching to businesses they say aren’t doing enough to support the Black Lives Matter movement #Louisville #LouisvilleProtests #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/4Kj0f2F9sZ

— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) September 25, 2020

Many protesters are completely ignoring the 9 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. curfew that went into effect Wednesday and will run each day until Monday morning at the behest of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (D).

A woman leads protesters in chants of “Charge the cops!” and “Convict the cops!” out in the streets of Louisville #Louisville #LouisvilleProtests #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/tAetCk2Aqs

— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) September 26, 2020

However, police have reportedly granted amnesty to the demonstrators, allowing them to march back to their cars without getting arrested.

Negotiating with the police to let protesters leave the church property and return to vehicles and homes without being arrested for curfew violations #Louisville #LouisvilleProtests #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/VQ5fVmh5xw

— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) September 26, 2020

Police have given the green light for protesters to march back to their cars without being arrested #Louisville #LouisvilleProtests #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/7vIsp37OXm

— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) September 26, 2020

Friday night’s confrontation between police and protesters two hours before the curfew went into effect reportedly resulted in clashes between demonstrators and authorities.

Echoing firsthand accounts highlighted on Twitter, USA Today reported:

About two hours before the city’s 9 p.m. curfew went into effect, a clash between police and protesters had already occurred as police used flash bangs to disperse a crowd, briefly blocked the route of a march, arrested two people and declared an an unlawful assembly. In a statement, police said the incident occurred because people did not get on the sidewalk when asked to allow traffic to flow.

Some of the protesters are armed out here tonight #Louisville #LouisvilleProtests #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/RVanjODRyg

— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) September 25, 2020

Taunts to the police as the protesters head south #Louisville #LouisvilleProtests #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/mdYgwGQ12X

— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) September 26, 2020

As has been the case throughout the protests, the First Unitarian Church in Louisville is still serving as a sanctuary or safe haven for BLM protesters, providing them with free food and refreshments as they help them evade arrest for breaking the curfew. As a religious institution, the church is reportedly exempted from the curfew.

Soon after the curfew kicked in, at least 200 people gathered at the church, according to witnesses.

First Unitarian Church has opened their doors to everyone as a sanctuary in Louisville tonight, with free food and refreshments available inside #Louisville #LouisvilleProtests #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/ZemnRLWbQx

— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) September 26, 2020

The Black Lives Matter protesters occupying the church grounds, who have welcomed them in to avoid arrests here in Louisville tonight #Louisville #LouisvilleProtests #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/pxpJH381Mp

— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) September 26, 2020

“We are offering a sanctuary space here because we feel like we need a space of love,” a member of the First Unitarian Church told Ventura.

“We are offering a sanctuary space here because we feel like we need a space of love” a congregation member from First Unitarian Church in #Louisville tells me as hundreds of people make their way onto the church property, 3 mins away from 9pm curfew pic.twitter.com/0Atynl2jfe

— Jorge Ventura Media (@VenturaReport) September 26, 2020

Despite the deadly unrest linked to armed and violent protesters, demonstrators lambasted the LMPD “for firing non-lethal crowd control agents at them during a peaceful assembly,” Gutenschwager added.

Mayor Greg Fischer extended the city’s curfew through the weekend after authorities arrested more than 100 people and after the shooting of the police officers during Wednesday’s protests.

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