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.
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.
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.