A protest march over the police shooting of an unarmed Black woman, Breonna Taylor, led to more than 60 arrests on Tuesday near Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. The activist group Until Freedom organized the march that attracted hundreds to a park near the famed Louisville race track.
Activists have held demonstrations in this Kentucky city since late May to call for the arrest of the officers who shot Taylor. The 26-year-old woman was fatally shot in her home during a narcotics raid by police on March 13. No drugs were found.
Protesters walked Tuesday near a police training facility and then proceeded along a major avenue near the track. Many sat down to block traffic. Police had already blocked off the street and redirected traffic.
Louisville interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder said 68 people who sat down in the street were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing a roadway. CBS affiliate WLKY reports that another group of protesters gathered Tuesday evening downtown, where officials said four more arrests were made.
Among the protesters arrested was Porsche Miller, a US Army veteran who came in from Atlanta to join the calls for justice. “I need to stand! And it’s now or never and I’m going to continue to fight! I’m going to continue to fight not for just blacks, for all colors,” Miller told WLKY.
Linda Sarsour, one of the co-founders of Until Freedom, spoke on a bullhorn to protesters before the arrests.
“We are on the right side of history,” Sarsour said. “Keep your head held high, do not be afraid and do not be intimidated.”
The protesters put up no resistance as police handcuffed them with plastic ties and led them away.
Last week, officials at Churchill Downs canceled plans to allow fans into the running of the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5 because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.