Hundreds of protesters marched Wednesday night in downtown Dallas after a Kentucky grand jury declined to bring charges against Louisville officers for the killing of Breonna Taylor during a drug raid gone wrong.
A fired Louisville officer who was accused of shooting through a door and window into a home next to Taylor’s was indicted on first-degree wanton endangerment charges. But no one faces criminal punishment for Taylor’s death.
Prosecutors said two other officers who fired at her were justified in using force to protect themselves.
Two separate protests formed in Dallas on Wednesday evening, hours after the grand jury’s decision.
In downtown Dallas, about 200 people marched through the city after gathering at City Hall. The group temporarily blocked intersections while chanting “Black Lives Matter” before they continued to Uptown.
The other gathering began in front of police headquarters south of downtown before marching to City Hall, where they knocked on the doors and demanded justice during a City Council meeting.
As the council was in the middle of debating amendments before passing a new budget, Mayor Eric Johnson announced a brief recess for “security” reasons while the group protested in the City Hall garage. Authorities were monitoring the scene, but there were no confrontations.
Taylor’s fatal shooting in March became a major rallying point in massive demonstrations nationwide throughout the summer against racism and police violence, and the announcement of the grand jury’s decisions brought protesters into the streets in Dallas for the 118th day in a row.
Taylor, a Black emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by white officers who entered her home during a narcotics investigation. The warrant used to search her home was connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside.
The early days of the summer’s protests in Dallas were marred by rioting and looting in and around downtown, as well as allegations of excessive force by officers.
A federal judge temporarily banned the Dallas Police Department’s use of tear gas and less-than-lethal ammunition to control crowds after civil-rights attorneys filed a restraining order to halt the use of the weapons on behalf of two protesters who were injured after attending demonstrations. The judge’s order was extended through Oct. 9.
The Kentucky grand jury’s announcement came as tensions increased over Dallas’ coming budget, with activists disillusioned that city officials did not vote to reallocate more resources to address non-law enforcement services to address issues such as homelessness and mental health.
City Council members were expected to formally adopt a budget Wednesday with a police budget left largely intact.
Pamela Grayson, a longtime Dallas activist, attended the gathering outside of police headquarters, where dissatisfaction with the city’s budget choices ran high.
Grayson said she was unhappy that officials did not fight to reallocate police resources. She wanted to see more funding to support jobs, housing and recreation centers.
“Things that can have a direct impact on crime,” she said. “Go look at what the white suburbs have.”
The City Council passed a budget amendment to cut $7 million from police overtime by a vote of 11-4. More than half of it — $3.8 million — will be used to hire 95 civilians at the Police Department. The rest will be used for other public safety measures such as improving street lighting, trying to stop illegal dumping and addressing the causes of poverty.
Wednesday’s protests in Dallas coincided with protests in cities across the country as people expressed their anger over the Kentucky grand jury’s decision.
At least two officers were shot Wednesday night in Louisville, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. Their wounds weren’t expected to be life-threatening.
A suspect was in custody Wednesday night, but according to The Associated Press, it wasn’t immediately clear whether the person had been participating in the protests.