Thousands of demonstrators gathered across the country in various metro areas on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of Breonna Taylor's death. Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was killed by police on Mar. 13, 2020, when officers raided her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky. Protesters across the country demanded police reform and the end to racial injustice. While many of the protests started peaceful, as night fell, violence erupted.
On Saturday, activists and supporters assembled at Jefferson Square Park in Louisville to remember Taylor's life. Taylor's family joined the rally, where many called on lawmakers to hold the police officers involved in her shooting accountable for their actions. The city settled with Taylor's family in September for $12 million - the settlement also included several police reforms.
Benjamin Crump, a lawyer representing Taylor's family, told demonstrators, "We got two different Americas. We got one for Black Americans and one for white Americans."
"We got to get justice for all our people in America," Crump said.
Meanwhile, demonstrations in Los Angeles began peacefully but turned violent by late evening. Hundreds marched in the downtown district, shuttering streets and clashed with police.
One of the most publicized events of the night was when demonstrators were beating a police car's hood when the officer suddenly accelerated - throwing the demonstrators onto the road.
One activist caught the incident on video and uploaded it to Twitter. The person said: "LAPD just ran over two protesters at the Hollywood Breonna Taylor march."
LAPD just ran over two protesters at the Hollywood Breonna Taylor march. pic.twitter.com/jthfty13oT— Vishal P Singh (@VPS_Reports) March 14, 2021
By late Saturday, ANTIFA appeared to have joined the march around Vine Street in Hollywood. There were reports of clashes with police and vandalism.
A striking image on historic Vine St. Hollywood marches for Breonna Taylor! pic.twitter.com/EPGD9zilOr— Vishal P Singh (@VPS_Reports) March 14, 2021
In Portland, Oregon, hundreds marched in the downtown district to remember Taylor.
“Who are we here for? Breonna Taylor!”— Alix Powell (@thatpowellgirl) March 13, 2021
A sizable crowd, the largest I have seen since summer, is marching through downtown Portland right now. There are other marches planned throughout the afternoon, and a mutual aid fair today as well. pic.twitter.com/UlWZ6VNEmc
Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley weighed in on the demonstrations and tweeted:
"In her memory, let us strive to right historic injustices and systemic racism that plague our policing system. #SayHerName".
Large-scale demonstrations were seen in New York City, many of which were peaceful.
Along with the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, Taylor's death has sparked nearly a year-long uproar among some Americans who have taken their frustrations to the streets. They demand police reform, defund police, and the end to racism across the country.
... and, of course, President Joe Biden chimed in, or perhaps his interns, who declared his support for police reforms:
"Breonna Taylor's death was a tragedy, a blow to her family, her community, and America," Biden said in a tweet.
"As we continue to mourn her, we must press ahead to pass meaningful police reform in Congress. I remain committed to signing a landmark reform bill into law."
Breonna Taylor’s death was a tragedy, a blow to her family, her community, and America. As we continue to mourn her, we must press ahead to pass meaningful police reform in Congress. I remain committed to signing a landmark reform bill into law.— President Biden (@POTUS) March 13, 2021
While the mainstream press will take weekend protests and package them up as "peaceful" for news stories early next week, for now the "violence" and "armed protesters" aspect has been downplayed or explicitly ignored... again