At least 46 people were arrested Wednesday during protests in Louisville after a Kentucky grand jury’s decision to indict one of three police officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, according to authorities.
Thirteen people were arrested in the Highlands, an area known for its nightlife and dining after officers intervened with a march earlier in the day, Louisville Metro Police said. The group briefly clashed with officers in riot gear who blocked the path of protesters as they marched on one of the city’s main roads.
Officers would take action after protesters flipped over tables and chairs at a local restaurant, and damaged other businesses in the area, according to Louisville FOX station WDRB-TV.
Protests would later escalate in the downtown area after an unlawful assembly was declared around 6 p.m., near Jefferson Square Park. Police ordered protesters to disperse from the area and 16 people were arrested during that incident, authorities said. Jefferson Square had been at the center of protests in the city, with police firing flash bangs and forming a line at one point.
Demonstrators would later set fires in trash bins in the park outside the Hall of Justice on Sixth Street between 7 and 8 p.m., according to the station. Many protesters would leave around 8 p.m., before marching in the downtown area.
Around that time at least two police officers were shot. Authorities said the two officers were in stable condition and a suspect was in custody.
As of 11 p.m., police had taken at least a dozen remaining protesters out of the park and to the nearby Department of Corrections facility, where some were handcuffed, The Courier-Journal reported.
Louisville police confirmed that 17 additional people had been arrested, bringing the day’s total to 46, reports said.
The protesters were fueled by frustration after a Jefferson County grand jury indicted Louisville Metro police Officer Brett Hankison with three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for his role in a drug operation that resulted in the death of a Taylor, 26-year-old Black emergency medical worker. While he was indicted, it was not on charges directly linked to her death.
“It’s a volcano built up and now it’s exploded,” said Dekevion Gause, who sat beside a Louisville park memorial to Taylor.
Demonstrators would also marched through the streets of other major U.S. cities, including: New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Philadelphia.
The Associated Press contributed to this report