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Black armed protesters march in Kentucky demanding justice for Breonna Taylor

Reuters logo Reuters 26/07/2020 By Bryan Woolston
a group of people in uniform: Members and supporters of an all-Black militia group called NFAC hold an armed rally in Louisville © Reuters/BRYAN WOOLSTON Members and supporters of an all-Black militia group called NFAC hold an armed rally in Louisville

By Bryan Woolston

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Reuters) - A group of heavily armed Black protesters marched through Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, a Black woman killed in March by police officers who burst into her apartment.

Scores of the demonstrators, carrying semi-automatic rifles and shotguns and clad in black paramilitary gear, walked in formation to a fenced off intersection where they were separated by police from a smaller group of armed counter-protesters.

a group of military men standing in front of a crowd: Members of an all-black militia group called NFAC prepare for a march during a rally, in Louisville © Reuters/BRYAN WOOLSTON Members of an all-black militia group called NFAC prepare for a march during a rally, in Louisville

The Black militia dubbed NFAC want justice for Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician who died in a hail of gunfire when drug investigators bearing a "no-knock" warrant entered her Louisville home four months ago.

One police officer involved in the raid was fired by the city's police department in June. Two other officers have been placed on administrative reassignment. No criminal charges have been filed against any of the three.

a group of people walking down the street: Members and supporters of an all-Back militia group called NFAC hold an armed rally in Louisville © Reuters/BRYAN WOOLSTON Members and supporters of an all-Back militia group called NFAC hold an armed rally in Louisville

The leader of the NFAC group, John "Grandmaster Jay" Johnson, called on officials to speed up the investigation into her death and to be more transparent.

"If you don't tell us nothing we going to think you ain't doing nothing," Johnson said in a speech, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.

Taylor's death, which returned to prominence following the May 25 suffocation in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, has become a rallying cry in nationwide protests against police brutality and racial bias in the U.S. criminal justice system.

The NFAC first drew attention on July 4 when they rallied in Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta to demand the removal of the giant Confederate rock carving at the site that civil rights activists consider a monument to racism.

a group of people standing in a field: Members and supporters of an all-Black militia group called NFAC hold an armed rally in Louisville © Reuters/BRYAN WOOLSTON Members and supporters of an all-Black militia group called NFAC hold an armed rally in Louisville

In Louisville on Saturday, three members of the group were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries when a weapon was accidentally discharged, police said.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Members and supporters of an all-Black militia group called NFAC hold an armed rally in Louisville © Reuters/BRYAN WOOLSTON Members and supporters of an all-Black militia group called NFAC hold an armed rally in Louisville

(Reporting by Bryan Woolston; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Grant McCool)


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