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Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer calls for peace amid Breonna Taylor protests

Louisville, Kentucky Mayor Greg Fischer on Thursday pleaded with those protesting the Breonna Taylor indictment decision to stay peaceful, as he provided an update on two cops shot during the city’s unrest.

“Violence will only be a source of pain, not a cure for pain,” said Fischer during a morning press briefing alongside interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder. “When any of us gives into the temptation to channel anger into violence, we slow our progress, we sacrifice the future for the moment.

“That’s just another tragedy. And we’ve seen enough tragedy.”

The city erupted Wednesday after a grand jury declined to directly indict three current or former Louisville Metro Police Department cops in the March death of Breonna Taylor, an unarmed black EMT gunned down during a botched raid on her apartment in the dead of night.

Two of the cops were cleared of criminal culpability altogether, while the third, since-fired officer Brett Hankison, was charged with “wantonly” firing shots from his service weapon — not necessarily endangering Taylor, but people in a neighboring unit.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Wednesday that the cops — who were executing a search warrant for drugs they never found — were justified in the shooting because they first came under fire from Taylor’s boyfriend, a licensed gun owner who has maintained that the trio didn’t identify themselves as law-enforcement.

In the unrest that sprang from the decision, some 127 people were arrested and 16 incidents of looting tallied, Schroeder said Thursday.

Around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, two LMPD cops were shot amid the chaos, but escaped life-threatening injury.

City Of Louisville Announces Settlement With Breonna Taylor's Family Over Police Killing
City Of Louisville Announces Settlement With Breonna Taylor's Family Over Police Killing
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer

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US-POLICE-SHOOTING-RACISM-BREONNA
Police officers stand near the site where two fellow police officers were shot in downtown Louisville.

AFP via Getty Images

Louisville Police Officer Charged With Wanton Endangerment In Breonna Taylor's Death
Louisville Police Officer Charged With Wanton Endangerment In Breonna Taylor's Death
Louisville Police officers arrest demonstrators.

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Louisville Police Officer Charged With Wanton Endangerment In Breonna Taylors Death
Louisville Police Officer Charged With Wanton Endangerment In Breonna Taylors Death
Demonstrators gather at a church after gun shots were fired at police officers.

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Louisville Police Officer Charged With Wanton Endangerment In Breonna Taylors Death
Louisville Police Officer Charged With Wanton Endangerment In Breonna Taylors Death
A protestor is detained following the grand jury verdict of Breonna Taylor.

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Louisville Police Officer Charged With Wanton Endangerment In Breonna Taylors Death
Louisville Police Officer Charged With Wanton Endangerment In Breonna Taylors Death
A protestor raises her hands in the air during a standoff with law enforcement.

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US-POLICE-SHOOTING-RACISM-BREONNA
Protestors march in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

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TOPSHOT-US-POLICE-SHOOTING-RACISM-BREONNA
Police officers run through Jefferson Square Park in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

AFP via Getty Images

Louisville Police Officer Charged With Wanton Endangerment In Breonna Taylor's Death
Louisville Police Officer Charged With Wanton Endangerment In Breonna Taylor's Death
Protestors throw water bottles at police officers on September 23, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky.

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“Last night’s situation could have been so much worse for our officers, and for the people who were protesting when the gunfire rang out,” said Schroeder.

Maj. Aubrey Gregory, a Louisville cop since 1999 and the head of the department’s Special Operations Division “leading efforts on the ground [Wednesday] night,” was struck on the hip and has already been released from the hospital, Schroeder said.

Gregory is a married father of three, according to an online profile.

Officer Robinson Desroches, in his second year on the job, was struck in the abdomen below his bullet-resistant vest, but was said to be in stable condition after undergoing surgery.

Larynzo Johnson, 26, has been charged in the shootings with first-degree assault and first-degree wanton endangerment — the latter charge the same one leveled against Hankison.

Robinson Desroches and Major Aubrey Gregory
Robinson Desroches and Major Aubrey Gregory
Robinson Desroches and Major Aubrey Gregory

LMPD; Getty Images

Racial Injustice Breonna Taylor
Racial Injustice Breonna Taylor
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TOPSHOT-US-POLICE-SHOOTING-RACISM-BREONNA
Protesters confront a row of police officers as they march in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Kentucky AG Makes Announcement On Possible Charges In Breonna Taylor's Death
Kentucky AG Makes Announcement On Possible Charges In Breonna Taylor's Death
A demonstrator is detained during protests in Louisville.

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US-POLICE-SHOOTING-RACISM-BREONNA
Protesters march in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Schroeder declined Thursday to reveal any statements Johnson may have made, get into what motivated his alleged attack or confirm whether he was a protester.

Schroeder also noted that on Wednesday night one cop was struck by a protester’s baton, another suffered a knee injury while making an arrest and a third was exposed to blood and saliva by a spitting demonstrator.

A 9 p.m. curfew remains in effect in Louisville, with unrest expected to continue there, as in cities across the nation including New York, Portland and Seattle.

Fischer closed with another entreaty to protesters to make their points without turning to violence.

“This is an extremely important moment, not just for our city but for our country as well,” he said. “I urge everybody to focus on that endgame, where we can have equity, liberty, justice for all.

“That’s the goal that we should all be able to agree on.”

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