Reuters claimed in its coverage of the Louisville riots on Wednesday that the demonstrations were "mostly peaceful" up until two Louisville Metro police officers were shot, but as I documented during the evening, it was far from "mostly peaceful."
Demonstrations in Louisville wore on past nightfall in defiance of a 9 p.m. curfew and remained mostly peaceful until several gunshots rang out in the midst of a skirmish between protesters and heavily armed police https://t.co/lvEd2XalpJ pic.twitter.com/L8GrPNrwCg— Reuters (@Reuters) September 24, 2020
To understand what lead up to the shooting, you have to go back to when the crowd had gathered at Jefferson Square Park. People gathered there after the grand jury's decision to charge only one officer with three counts of wanton endangerment. No officers were directly charged for the shooting of Breonna Taylor.
The crowd was very upset. After sunset, people lit fires in the street and set the boards protecting the Hall of Justice's windows ablaze. At that point, Louisville police had declared the gathering an unlawful assembly. Officers came out of the Hall of Justice to extinguish the flames and were attacked by rioters throwing projectiles.
People are trying to set fire to boards protecting the widows on the Hall of Justice in Louisville. pic.twitter.com/iSjp1cXvLs— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) September 23, 2020
Multiple fire have been started in downtown Louisville. As a bonus, something exploded right in front of me. pic.twitter.com/9t67SwfWuH— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) September 23, 2020
After being warned that crowd control munitions would be used if rioters did not leave the area, a large number of people left in a group and marched out of the barricaded zone. Some people in the group then started to set fires and damage property along the route, prompting cheers from the crowd.
Some people in the crowd are breaking uncovered windows as they walk down the street in Louisville. pic.twitter.com/hJfwqBwB7t— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) September 24, 2020
This continued until the crowd started to march towards the line of Louisville officers. The police fired two flashbangs over the crowd. Right after the flashbangs exploded, that's when gunshots rang out and two officers were hit.
Interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder told reporters outside the hospital a few hours later that both officers were in stable condition and a suspect was in custody.
Louisville Police Chief just told reporters the two officers who were shot are stable and are receiving treatment. They have a suspect in custody. pic.twitter.com/FYBqhvjzSd— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) September 24, 2020