LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Before Wednesday’s announcement protesters at Jefferson Square Park, the epicenter of Louisville’s protests over the police killing of Breonna Taylor, was largely quiet Tuesday as demonstrators waited for an announcement in the Attorney General’s investigation of the case.
Rumors circulated among protesters, many armed, some in bulletproof vests, that an announcement would be made at 2 p.m. It wasn’t. As the afternoon wore on, some expressed frustration at the lack of news, even if they anticipated it being bad.
“She got killed six months ago. We’ve been protesting for 118 days. Just do it. Stop playing games. Just let the announcement happen,“ said Summer Dickerson. Attorney General Daniel Cameron has given no indication of when the announcement will be made.
The area surrounding the park, and much of downtown Louisville, was lined with barricades, fencing, and large city trucks Tuesday. The measures to limit access to downtown were part of a state of emergency declared by the Louisville Metro Police Department. “We felt these steps were necessary to help protect the public,” interim LMPD Chief Robert Schroeder said at a press conference Tuesday morning.
Later Tuesday, Mayor Greg Fischer declared a state of emergency "due to the potential for civil unrest," according to a statement from his office. Several downtown parking garages were also closed and street parking around Jefferson Square Park was restricted. The statement said the moves were made without any specific knowledge of the timing of an announcement.
“These barricades and fences and concrete blocks, they don’t do anything but provoke people,” said Rosie Henderson. “Just come with the decision. All this unnecessary stuff — looking like a third world country — we don’t need this.”
By 4 p.m. the mood in the park had largely calmed. One man played a piano as a woman sang along. Another man picked ripe tomatoes from the garden protesters planted in the park months ago. And soon, a new rumor began circulating: an announcement, one demonstrator said, is coming Wednesday at 10am.
Dickerson said as anxious as she is for the announcement, it won’t mean that the work of the protesters is over.
“It doesn’t end at this announcement,” she said. “Get some transparency, get some accountability — that’s what’s going to stop it.”