As Celebrities Call for Justice for Breonna Taylor, Louisville Bans Protesters From Marching In Public Streets

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Calls for justice for Breonna Taylor have reached fever pitch as advocates marked 150 days since the EMT was killed in her Louisville home by police. 

Oprah Winfrey, who is featuring Taylor on the cover to the upcoming issue of “O” magazine, has posted the issue's cover on billboards across Kentucky to demand justice for Taylor. Regina King, Sarah Silverman, Sarah Paulson, Jessica Alba, Amy Schumer, Olivia Wilde and Gabby Sidibe are among those who have taken to social media to show themselves wearing shirts that read “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor.”

Their social media push comes as the city of Louisville announced Sunday that it is banning protesters from marching in public streets. Many of the protesters have said they have been demonstrating for more than 70 consecutive nights. Instead, participants are confined to sidewalks and must follow pedestrian and traffic laws, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

The ban comes as Louisville Police spokesperson Jessie Halladay said there was "an increase in aggressive behavior over the past week." Twelve protesters were arrested Saturday for allegedly flipping tables and chairs while marching through the Fourth Street Live entertainment district, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.

The ACLU of Kentucky told the Courier Journal that they have "serious concerns" about authorities' “sudden decision to restrict protest activity.”

"Over the past months, we have seen a pattern of overblown and inappropriate reactions to a community that is rightfully upset with its government's delay in holding the police accountable," ACLU spokeswoman Amber Duke told Courier Journal.

The organization said it will be monitoring LMPD's actions, as many expect the protests to continue. Protesters were seen marching mainly on the sidwalk Sunday after the ban was implemented.

As protesters, famous and not, continue to take to the city on sidewalks, Taylor's sister shared more about who she was as a person. “She was my person,” Ju’Niyah Palmer, 20, told The Washington Post. “I was her shadow.”

Though Palmer and her family are dedicated to keeping Taylor’s name in the headlines, she noted the struggles she experiences with mourning her sister. “Mostly at night is when I can really think, and I have moments — like, I’ll cry, but I haven’t grieved it, if that makes sense. I still don’t want to face it," she said. 

In documentation previously obtained by the Louisville Courier-Journal, police were authorized to carry out a “no-knock” warrant on Taylor’s Louisville, Kentucky, home on March 13 as part of a narcotics investigation on a home 10 miles away. Neither Taylor nor her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were the investigation's target. Police had suspected, though, that Taylor’s home was used to receive drugs.

Authorities initially said they identified themselves despite the “no-knock” warrant. Police said the officers were “immediately” met by gunfire when they entered Taylor and Walker's home, at which point they returned fire.

Walker called 911 during the ordeal and he was informed he'd shot an officer. He was initially charged with attempted murder, but his charges were later dropped after he said he shot in self-defense thinking he and Taylor were victims of a home invasion.

In the wake of Taylor's death, the city has banned "no-knock" warrants.

In June, Officer Brett Hankison was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department; he is currently contesting his termination with legal council. Officer Myles Cosgrove and John Mattingly have been reassigned. None of the officers have been arrested or charged in Taylor’s death.

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