LOUISVILLE, Ky. (NewsNation Now) — Nearly carless streets, empty sidewalks, plywood covering windows and doors — downtown Louisville, Kentucky is desolate on a weekday as the city prepares for a potential major announcement in the Breonna Taylor case.
Protester Holly Isaacs has been to many of the downtown demonstrations and said she thinks officials are preparing to give the demonstrators news they don’t want to hear.
“I honestly think that they’re preparing to give us some bad news,” said Isaacs. “I feel they’re not going to charge the officers and they’re preparing for what may come off the back of that decision.”
Louisville officials have severely restricted access to the downtown area ahead of an announcement from Kentucky’s Attorney General on whether or not charges will be filed against the three officers involved in the March killing of Taylor.
“We’ve received no word from the AG on when he’ll make his announcement or what his findings might be,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “We hope that announcement whatever it is is coming soon so our city can learn the facts of what happened that night begin to heal and take the next steps for racial justice and equity.”
Fischer signed two executive orders Tuesday. One declares a state of emergency which allows Fischer to implement a curfew if needed. The other executive order restricts parking downtown, although vehicle access to downtown was severely restricted prior to that order.
Louisville Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder accelerated plans to restrict downtown access starting on Monday. He also declared a state of emergency for the police department – meaning all time off and vacation requests are canceled until further notice.
“Quite frankly I hope we hope that all of this is simply not needed that it will be a peaceful situation and in a week we’ll all be talking wow that was something we didn’t need to do,” Schroeder said Tuesday morning.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker put the Illinois National Guard at “a state of readiness” ahead of the decision.
Just last week, Taylor’s family was awarded $12 million dollars in a civil suit settlement with the city of Louisville – the settlement also included several policing reforms.
Schroeder also said the settlement did not acknowledge wrongdoing on the part of the city.
There’s no timetable on when the AG’s announcement will be made.
Currently, one of the three officers involved in the shooting has been fired. The other two are on administrative leave. A grand jury has been empaneled.
Taylor family attorney Ben Crump has demanded that they be charged with at least second degree murder.