Police in Louisville, Kentucky fired pepper balls at a Wave3 news crew while covering another night of demonstrations protesting the murder of Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police in March. Reporter Kaitlin Rust was reporting live on the scene from the protests where several officers clad in tactical gear were stationed.
As Rust was delivering the report, she pauses briefly before screaming. As the anchors ask what's happening, the camera zooms in on an officer, who appears to be deliberately firing at the two of them. "Why are they doing that," one anchor can be heard asking, while the other laments the fact that "they're shooting at our crew." Jessie Halladay told the outlet on behalf of the Louisville Metro Police Department that the officers likely shot at the news crew with pepper balls, not rubber bullets, as had been previously reported.
This just happened on live tv. Wow, what a douche bag. pic.twitter.com/dQKheEcCvb— Christopher Bishop (@ChrisBishopL1C4) May 30, 2020
During a protest Thursday night, at least seven people were shot during a rally. Two of the victims recovered after surgery while the other five were reported to be in "good condition." Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer clarified that the gunfire came from within the crowd" and not the police on patrol. Prior to the shootings, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear addressed the crowds speaking at City Hall. "Please keep demanding justice and accountability, but let's do it the right way without hurting each other," Beshear said. "We can and we will make some real change here. Now is the time. Let's make it happen, but safely."
Speaking to CNN, Beshear said that the initially peaceful protests "later turned it into something that it should not have been." He also called out President Donald Trump for his violent rhetoric and asked that he remove a tweet he posted that threatened to "assume control" in Minneapolis if it came to that. "During these times, we can condemn violence while also trying to listen, to understand, to know that there is deep frustration, rightfully so, in our country," Beshear continued. "That there has not been enough action on creating equality, of opportunity, and in health care. And in a time of this COVID-19 pandemic, it's laid bare all of that."
The protests over Taylor's death come as similar protests have cropped up across the U.S. over the death of George Floyd. The 46-year-old Minneapolis man was killed by police on Monday after he was accused of forgery. One officer, Derek Cauvin, has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.