Louisville & Lexington mayors make “calls for calm”; Guard supporting police

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Breonna Taylor

LEXINGTON/LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) — Leaders in Louisville and Lexington are calling for calm following the grand jury’s indictment in the Breonna Taylor case, asking people protest peacefully.

“We have seen strong emotions – grief, anger, conviction, compassion, hopelessness and more on our streets for almost 120 days now,” says Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

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Prior to the news of Breonna Taylor’s case, Louisville and Lexington’s mayors asked their cities to remain calm and respond in a peaceful, lawful manner.

Guard members are to provide civil disturbance support to the Louisville Metro Police Department and to protect critical infrastructure sites in and around the Louisville area. Guard leadership will retain command and control while working with the LMPD. Kentucky Army and Air National Guardsmen will work in shifts to provide 24 hours of support.

Some 500 National Guard members also were deployed to protect infrastructure like hospitals and other facilities.

Fischer announced a 72 hour curfew Wednesday from 9 p.m. until 6:30 a.m.
He also issued a state of emergency closing metro government buildings downtown Wednesday and Thursday.

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton is asking people to avoid downtown altogether and most downtown city offices closed at 1 Wednesday afternoon.

Downtown businesses boarded up in preparation for a possible night of unrest.

Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder issue a state of emergency for LMPD, which allowed him to cancel all vacation and requested off days for officers.

“Our officers are prepared to keep doing what they’ve been doing since May 28th, protecting the public while also ensuring the constitutional right for people to express their feelings,” says Chief Schroeder.

Several downtown roads are closed in both cities.

“So we’re asking if you decide to join in protests wrap things up around 8 o’clock or so and so you can start to head home and be home by 9 p.m.,” says Mayor Fischer.

As businesses and government offices close, there’s one kind of building staying open in Louisville.

“We are asking houses of faith to open their doors tonight to give opportunity to the community to come in and be able to pray and sit in silence, whatever they made need,” says Reverend Vincent James, Louisville’s Chief of Community Building.

James says many churches are open.

Louisville’s curfew won’t apply to those attending faith services, working, or seeking medical attention.

“I ask that we, all of us, maintain that critical and unwavering focus on the need for racial equity and re-imagining public safety so we can all move forward as a city,” says Fischer.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.