LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A second night of protests in Hollywood over the shooting death of Breonna Taylor and the grand jury's refusal to indict any of the Louisville Metropolitan police officers directly for the killing turned violent, and two vehicles plowed through clusters of protesters on Sunset Boulevard, injuring at least one person.
A demonstrator holding a sign was struck by a black SUV, knocked to the ground and later hospitalized for treatment of injuries, according to reports from the scene. That person's gender and current condition were unknown.
“We got the call about the downed protester just before 9 p.m. (Thursday) and dispatched paramedics to the scene,'' said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Nicholas Prange.
The SUV that hit the demonstrator was driven from the scene but was stopped, temporarily detained by police, then released. There was no immediate word from police as to why the driver was released.
About a half hour later, the driver of a white Prius tried to get around the protest that was moving down Sunset Boulevard but eventually drove through the demonstration, hitting several people, according to the LAPD and media reports from the scene. That driver proceeded until the vehicle was boxed in by a truck and a car and people from the truck began pounding on the car's windows.
The driver eventually got away and sped from the scene. Police were searching for that driver.
The Thursday evening protests began around 7:30 p.m., with at least 200 people sitting and standing in the grass outside the entrance to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery at 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. The mostly peaceful demonstration wound its way up to Sunset Boulevard.
Motorists drove by the protest honking in support, and a series of speakers addressed the crowd.
The first night of protests began around 6 p.m. Wednesday near Union Station with a march along downtown streets before returning to Union Station around 11 p.m.
Video posted to social media showed a protester using an object to vandalize government property and someone in the crowd later pinned the vandal to the ground, stopping the attempted destruction.
NBC4 reporter Robert Kovacik posted video on Twitter showing vandalism to a sign for the Los Angeles Police Department's Ronald F. Deaton Civic Auditorium. A line was spray painted across a portion of the lettering and large black Xs were painted over the word “police.'' Protesters left the area around midnight.
Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical worker, was fatally shot in her apartment early on March 13 by officers executing a no-knock search warrant, according to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detectives Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove were advised by superiors to knock and announce their presence in serving this specific search warrant, Cameron said. Evidence from the Special Prosecution Unit's investigation shows that officers both knocked and announced their presence at the apartment.
The officers' statements about their announcement were corroborated by an independent witness who was near Taylor's apartment, Cameron said.
When officers were unable to get anyone to answer or open the door to the apartment, the decision was made to breach the door. Mattingly was the only officer to enter the residence, Cameron said.
Mattingly saw two individuals standing beside one another at the end of the hall, a male and female. Mattingly said the male was holding a gun, arms extended, in a shooting stance, Cameron said.
Mattingly saw the man's gun being fired and immediately felt heat in his upper thigh as a result of a gunshot wound, Cameron said, adding that Kenneth Walker, Taylor's boyfriend, fired the shot that hit Mattingly.
Walker admitted firing one shot and was the first to shoot, Cameron said.
Mattingly returned fire down the hallway, firing six shots. Almost simultaneously, Cosgrove, also in the doorway area, shot 16 times, all in a matter of seconds, Cameron said.
Hankison fired his weapon 10 times, including from outside a sliding glass door and through a bedroom window, Cameron said.
Some bullets traveled through apartment 4 and into apartment 3 before someone exited that apartment. At the time, three residents of apartment 3 were at home, including a man, a pregnant woman and a child, Cameron said.
The investigation found that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their use of force after having been fired upon by Walker, Cameron said.
Hankison was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury on three counts of wanton endangerment over the shots fired into a neighboring apartment, a Class D felony. Mattingly and Cosgrove were not charged.
Hankison was fired by the LMPD on June 23, 2020.
The warrant used to search Taylor's home was connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside. After the killing, Louisville city council members voted unanimously to pass “Breonna's Law," which banned “no-knock" warrants
“Breonna Taylor was sleeping when police raided her apartment and killed her,'' Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, tweeted Thursday. “She deserves justice. Breonna -- and all Black Americans -- deserve a system of policing that prioritizes justice and dignity over fear and bigotry, so a tragedy like this never happens again.''
Taylor's family received a $12 million settlement payment from Louisville.
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