The Louisville Metro Police Department announced on Monday it was declaring a state of emergency in anticipation of violence resulting from a widely expected announcement of a grand jury decision in the shooting of Breonna Taylor.
Taylor, 26, was shot and killed by LMPD narcotics officers serving a warrant at her apartment in March. Her death sparked 100 days of demonstrations and riots in Louisville as both left- and right-wing militias have squared off on several occasions.
WAVE 3 News obtained a memo sent by LMPD Interim Chief Rob Schroeder, addressed to all personnel, that read in part:
“To ensure we have the appropriate level of staffing to provide for public safety services and our policing functions, effective immediately the LMPD will operate under the emergency staffing and reporting guidelines as outlined in the Standard Operating Procedures, Emergency Response Plan and collective bargaining agreements until further notice.”
Earlier Monday, LMPD had canceled all requested off days for officers effective immediately. The decision came after talks among department leaders about their expectations for a possible announcement in the Taylor case being made “soon.”
Six police officers are under internal investigation in the case. That investigation is separate from the one conducted by LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit, and it’s expected some kind of indictments will be handed down. But regardless of what the grand jury decides, violence is likely. The LMPD is preparing for the worst.
“Effective immediately, all off-days are hereby cancelled and vacation requests that have not already been submitted and approved are cancelled until further notice,” an LMPD statement addressed to all personnel read in part.
WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters were told members of the department’s Special Response Team were given orders to start preparing, as well as other units within the department.
The police will be “limiting vehicle access, traffic and parking in certain parts of downtown, while setting up barricades,” reports the New York Post.
“While we do not know when the Attorney General will make his announcement, LMPD is taking the following actions now to ensure the area is as safe as possible for those coming downtown to express their First Amendment Rights, as well as those who live and work in the area,” the police wrote.
“We recognized that this is an inconvenience, and will cause difficulty for those that live, work and have business downtown, and we apologize for this inconvenience,” the department added. “However, public safety is our number one priority, and it would be irresponsible if we did not take preemptive action to preserve it.”
Louisville federal buildings have been boarded up in advance of the grand jury decision. At least two of the buildings will be closed for the week and the federal courthouse has been prepared for unrest.
Legal experts tell Fox News that some of the officers involved may not be charged with homicide.
Protesters and the attorney representing Taylor’s family have demanded that all three of the officers involved in her fatal shooting in March be charged with at least second-degree manslaughter. But legal experts tell Fox News it’s possible some of the officers will not face homicide charges.
People looking for an excuse in Louisville to riot and loot will probably find one this week.
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