LOUISVILLE — Five months after Breonna Taylor’s death, Kentucky’s largest city has become the epicenter of the national movement for racial justice, weathering more than 80 days of protests as activists pour into the streets calling for charges against the police officers involved in her fatal shooting.
Backed by professional athletes and A-list celebrities, the protests have put mounting pressure on investigators and prosecutors, who are urging patience even as officers in other high-profile deaths have been quickly suspended, fired and charged.
“We’re not going to wait forever,” said attorney Lonita Baker, appearing with Taylor’s mother Thursday after meeting with Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R). “We do want this resolved quickly and accurately.”
But the prospect of police prosecution is complicated by state laws that give the benefit of the doubt to officers involved in carrying out their official duties. That legal reality has animated protests against police violence nationwide since the killing of George Floyd in May — and is raising concerns for local leaders about how to navigate the public emotion.