FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear called for peaceful protests across the state in the wake of demonstrations in Lexington, Louisville and other communities that began late last week.
The governor released a video statement Sunday afternoon on his Facebook page and on YouTube. To see the video statement, click here.
He says he understands people across Kentucky want racial justice and want their voice to be heard, but echoed the plea from Breonna Taylor’s family in Louisville, calling for truth and justice, but no violence.
“At this time, there are folks who want to cause violence that can hurt everybody, and I want to make sure that does not happen and that we honor this family’s wishes,” Beshear said in his prepared statement.
He also reminded protesters that we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic. He urged continued social distancing and to wear masks at protests. He also asked people who have been at protests, in close proximity to other people, to stay away from the elderly and anyone who is vulnerable to the coronavirus in the coming days and weeks.
Protests have turned violent in Louisville with people being shot, police being shot at and numerous arrests. The Kentucky National Guard was called-in over the weekend to help restore order and the mayor instituted a dusk-to-dawn curfew.
Much of the reaction in Louisville has been to the shooting death of medical worker Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020 and to the death in Minneapolis, Minnesota of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck.
Records show executing a no-knock search warrant, Louisville Police used a battering ram to crash into Breonna Taylor’s apartment as part of a drug raid. Documents say after a brief confrontation, Taylor was shot several times by police and killed. Records show no drugs were found in the apartment and that Taylor was not armed.
Louisville Police say they only fired after they were shot at upon entering the apartment by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Walker wounded one of the officer’s. Walker was initially charged, but that charge was dismissed earlier this month.