Protesters had set up something of a mini “autonomous zone” Louisville, Kentucky earlier in the month, with a bunch of tents set up in Jefferson Square Park to protest over the police shooting death of Breonna Taylor. It hadn’t gotten as much attention as the one in Seattle.
Louisville has its own autonomous zone. pic.twitter.com/Qo1A7QczXH
— HAZE (@HazeStag) June 24, 2020
Tents have taken over Jefferson Square Park… protestors have made it clear that they won’t leave unless the officers involved in #BreonnaTaylor ‘s death are fired and prosecuted @WHAS11 pic.twitter.com/cLoLtSJtKk
— Heather Fountaine (@WHAS11Heather) June 15, 2020
The mayor had allowed it as long as they remained “peaceful.” There were prior problems and arrests associated with “protesters” in the area.
But last night someone opened fire on people in the park in a shocking video. One person was killed, another was injured.
Protesters in a park in Kentucky ran for cover as shots were fired during a demonstration over the death of Breonna Taylor.
One person was killed and another injured in the shooting, which took place in Louisville on Saturday night.
— SkyNews (@SkyNews) June 28, 2020
Immediately, folks on the left were claiming that it was a “white supremacist” who had fired on the group, not waiting for the facts.
But turns out police allege it was another protester. Police said that the shooter had been wounded in the incident and was in custody at the hospital.
From Fox News:
“The man had been participating in the protest since they began and had been arrested a couple of times over the past several weeks. He had been repeatedly asked by other members in the park to leave due to his disruptive behavior,” Louisville Assistant Chief of Police Robert Schroeder said. “In addition to this man, multiple other people in the park were armed at the time of the incident, and our homicide investigators are still working to identify all of the parties who may have fired during the incident.”
While police didn’t identify him, protesters on the ground said he was a homeless man named Steven Lopez who had been arrested with protesters in a prior incident. The Courier-Journal just identified him and they have a picture of him from his prior arrest. They charged him with Gerth’s death, they did not charge him as to the other person wounded. The Courier Journal said he had an altercation with another protester earlier in the day and they don’t believe that he was targeting Gerth.
Steven Lopez mugshot on the left. And here he is participating in BLM activism: pic.twitter.com/Nyxk0tYOMh
— Evan Mantri (@EvanMantri) June 28, 2020
One man, Tyler Gerth, 27, was killed in the park and a woman victim was hit across the street at the Hall of Justice. That person is expected to survive.
The man killed at Injustice Park in Louisville during protests in a senseless and random act of violence was 27-year-old photographer Tyler Gerth. May his life be a blessing and a continued call to action. pic.twitter.com/fGWP6ohdJe
— Farrah Alexander (@AuthorFarrah) June 28, 2020
Now the city has decided to clear away the tents and the autonomous zone as a matter of safety and they’ve forbidden any more tents or protests camping out at night.
“It’s a safety issue at this point. Over the past several nights we’ve seen increasingly dangerous behavior. We’ve seen several fistfights. We’ve also seen an increasing number of weapons that gave us concern, but all that led up to last night’s activity and last night’s shooting,” Hess said. “But yet, we wanted to balance the First Amendment exercise of free speech, the need to come together, while at the same time understanding that ordinances were in place for a reason, and it was particularly to help protect public safety.”
Too bad they didn’t stop it sooner. Again, just like with CHOP, they had the warning signs that they ignored.
Had the mayor had the fortitude to shut it down, this might have been avoided. But as with CHOP, weak Democratic leadership just refused to act to protect people, including the protesters.