Felony rioting charges dropped against Rep. Attica Scott and others

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Black Lives Matter protesters march, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in Louisville. Breonna Taylor's family demanded Friday that Kentucky authorities release all body camera footage, police files and the transcripts of the grand jury hearings that led to no charges against police officers who killed the Black woman during a March drug raid at her apartment. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

KENTUCKY (CNN) -Felony rioting charges against Kentucky state Rep. Attica Scott and others arrested during Breonna Taylor protests in late September have been dropped, Scott confirmed to CNN.

“Felony charges have been dropped against all of us! Misdemeanor charges are still pending,” she said in a text message.
Scott, Kentucky’s only Black female legislator, her 19-year-old daughter and 16 other demonstrators were arrested during protests in Louisville on September 24. They were charged with felony rioting as well as unlawful assembly and failure to disperse, both misdemeanors.
Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell dropped the felony rioting charges because they couldn’t be proven under the felony rioting statute, said Ted Shouse, an attorney representing the demonstrators. O’Connell will pursue the misdemeanor charges, Shouse said.
The protests came a day after a grand jury indicted one former Louisville Metro Police detective on charges of wanton endangerment but did not indict any officers on charges for fatally shooting Taylor in a botched drug raid.
According to police, a group of protestors began “causing damage” in downtown Louisville, including breaking windows of a restaurant and tossing a flare into a library, before the countywide 9 p.m. curfew kicked in. However, Scott said she was arrested at 8:58 p.m., two minutes before the curfew started, as she and other protesters crossed the street to seek sanctuary at the church. She said she was peacefully seeking authorized sanctuary at a church before the curfew time.  On Tuesday, Scott said she will fight the misdemeanor charges.
“We know that there has been nothing but love, community and solidarity for more than 130 days as we have sought justice for Breonna Taylor. As my daughter Ashanti, who was arrested with us, often says, ‘We do not move in fear.’ So these charges will not stop us, it will not stop the revolution,” she said.
“The absurdity of trying to claim that I would try to burn down the library in District 41 that Black people so desperately need is something we all need to fight against.”
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