Protesters in St. Petersburg, Florida, expanded their demonstration to harass diners along the streets on Wednesday following a Louisville grand jury’s decision not to charge officers involved in a raid that led to the death of Breonna Taylor in March.
What are the details?
A reporter for the Tampa Bay Times reported on Twitter that “Protestors are now going restaurant by restaurant to chant at diners on Beach Dr. in St. Pete. A lot of diners yelled back, starting multiple confrontations. This one was the most significant. Protestors took over a couple’s table. Not sure why they were targeted specifically.”
Protestors are now going restaurant by restaurant to chant at diners on Beach Dr. in St. Pete. A lot of diners yell… https://t.co/DKQiws1HXc
— Josh Fiallo (@Josh Fiallo)1600907691.0
The footage in the accompanying video shows a mob of protesters repeatedly chanting, “Stand up, fight back!” while facing diners at a restaurant before one apparent activist pulls up a seat at the table of a man and woman who were seated together outside the establishment.
The woman at the table quickly stands up and says, “Nope, this is my table!” and unsuccessfully attempts to move the activist from the chair before two more activists fill the remaining empty seats while flashing signs and joining the chant. Additional activists followed and stood to surround the couple.
One activist can be heard telling the man, “why don’t you shut up?” before the first activist who stole a seat told the woman, “I’ll knock your old-a** boyfriend the f*** out.”
Another activist is then seen blowing what appears to be a bullhorn at the couple, standing from a few feet away.
What’s the background?
Protests have been ongoing in cities across the U.S. for months since the death of George Floyd in late May, and Breonna Taylor’s name has been a frequent chant of demonstrators nationwide calling for justice after she was killed during a police raid.
Initial reports claimed that the raid was executed as a “no-knock” warrant, but Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) said during a press conference Wednesday that an independent witness reported that the police did announce themselves before entering the residence where Taylor was in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who has stated that he opened fire, believing the police to be robbers, and police fired back, killing Taylor.
Louisville was placed under a state of emergency ahead of Wednesday’s afternoon announcement that only one of the three officers involved in the raid would be charged in connection with the raid itself. The police officers’ use of force was deemed justified by the grand jury, but one officer was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment because he fired into other nearby residences. No officers were charged with Taylor’s death.
As of this writing, Louisville police have announced that two police officers have been shot in Louisville amid ongoing rioting. According to multiple local reports, their wounds are being described as non-life-threatening