On March 28, 2020, hundreds of people took to the streets in downtown Columbus to protest the death of George Floyd.
Floyd’s case involved a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck during an arrest on May 25.
The incident sparked a massive riot in Minneapolis which has galvanized other demonstrations across the nation.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, 300 protesters blocked the intersections and there was a heavy police presence in downtown Columbus.
The protests were originally calm, but became disorderly late on the night of March 28, according to reports. WCMH Channel 4 reporter Eric Halperin reported that protesters started smashing windows at the Statehouse downtown and some were able to break inside the building. Halperin reported that law enforcement moved in to protect the Statehouse.
— Eric Halperin (@EricHalperinTV) May 29, 2020
Rioters threw plastic bottles and other small objects at police officers earlier in the evening. Throughout the demonstration, protesters chanted “Black lives matter” and “Say his name”, referring to Floyd. The demonstrators also chanted “I can’t breathe,” which was a reference to Eric Garner’s death in New York back in 2014.
According to a WCMH Channel 4 report, police used a chemical spray to push the crowd back at around 10:20 p.m., which caused the crowd to partially break up. However, according to video footage from WBNS Channel 10, there was still a sizeable crowd on the street around 11:15 p.m..
Around 11:15 p.m Halperin reported that the protests started getting heated when demonstrators began throwing a plastic bottle at a police officer on horseback, which ended up startling his horse.
Halperin reported tensions in Columbus began escalating around 11:15 p.m., showing video of a plastic bottle being thrown at the feet of a horse ridden by a police officer, startling the horse.
— Eric Halperin (@EricHalperinTV) May 29, 2020
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther went on Twitter to implore the protesters to exercise restraint.
I understand why some residents are angry and taking to the streets. I have said many times that racism exists across the country, state and right here in Columbus. We are committed to addressing racism wherever we see it.
— Mayor Andrew Ginther (@MayorGinther) May 29, 2020
NO MURDER CHARGES: Fired Detective Brett Hankinson Receives Indictment for Wanton Endangerment, No Officers are Charged for the Death of Breonna Taylor
On September 23, 2020, Jefferson County Judge Annie O’Connell announced that fired detective Brett Hankinson will be indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment for his actions on the night of Breonna Taylor’s death.
Hankison had previously admitted to shooting blindly. Some of those shots were fired into neighboring apartments not into Breonna Taylor’s where her boyfriend had opened fire onto police.
Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly, the other two officers involved in a serving a search warrant on the night that Taylor was killed, did not receive any charges.
The city of Louisville was placed under a state of emergency on September 22, when city officials shutdown a significant portion of the city perimeter to traffic. The majority of administrative building and other businesses were boarded up prior to the decision. Louisville has been rocked by riots related to Taylor’s death in March. These riots have been occurring for over 100 days and have resulted in a number of deaths and heated confrontations with law enforcement.
Starting on the night of September 23, there will be a 72-hour curfew in Louisville. The curfew will not apply to people partaking in essential travel, which includes work-related purposes or medical attention. Kentucky National Guard members will be deployed to the city for the purpose of maintaining public order.
Given the indictment doesn’t match the BLM demands of murder charges for all officers involved, such precautionary measures are necessary to quell potential unrest coming from the Left. Since May, radical leftists have taken advantage of controversial police actions to tear up property and cause mayhem across the country. An incident like Taylor’s death is most assuredly being politicized by the Left and will likely fuel further disturbances across the nation.
Conservatives and nationalists should make it a point to promote healthy debate, while establishing a baseline of public security, to ensure that the country does not spiral further out of control in such times of instability.
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