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Riots Erupt In Denver Over Grand Jury Verdict In Breonna Taylor’s Case

Demonstrators took over streets and launched fireworks at police, joining other cities erupting following a grand jury verdict they didn’t like in Breonna Taylor’s case.


DENVER — Riots erupted in Denver Wednesday night over the afternoon grand jury verdict in 26-year-old Breonna Taylor’s case because jurors thought the evidence merited bringing Officer Brett Hankison to trial on first-degree “wanton endangerment.”

Rioters were demanding murder charges for officers who shot Taylor while executing a no-knock drug raid on her home. During the raid, according to grand jury testimony, a male inhabitant standing next to her shot police after they announced themselves, got no response, and then opened the door, upon which officers returned fire, hitting Taylor.

Hundreds flocked to the Colorado Capitol building in the early evening to hear speeches. They proceeded to take over the street on the west end of the capital grounds, chanting “Breonna Taylor.”

Things quickly escalated after 9 p.m., when most of the protestors went home, while a slimmer but sizable crowd of about 100 stayed behind and still demanded control of the streets. Moments later, one man drove his car down the block protestors were occupying. They surrounded the car and ordered the individual to turn around.

After several minutes of tense back-and-forth, the driver gave up and plowed through the unrelenting crowd anyway.

Demonstrators then began a march to the Denver police about three blocks west of the capitol building where protestors harassed police through the gates and re-positioned dumpsters to serve as protective barriers.

“I need that, I need that for things,” said a man who can be heard in the background who worked in the building next-door where the dumpster was taken.

Protestors continued to threaten police lined up behind the fence of the 6th District station, shaking the metal barricade while launching fireworks at the officers, who responded by shooting pepper balls.

After police pushed out the demonstrators with non-lethal crowd control tactics, away from the police building, rioters pulled dumpsters out of nearby alleys and dumped their contents over the streets while vandalizing the adjacent parked vehicles.

Several other major cities across the nation suffered a repeat outbreak of civil unrest in the aftermath of Taylor’s verdict, including Louisville, where the March shooting occurred. The Louisville Police Department reported that two of its officers had been shot amid the anarchic chaos.

Interim Louisville Chief of Police Robert Schroeder told reporters both officers are “stable.”

Protests were also reported in New York, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Washington D.C., where rioters began harassing restaurant diners.