(TMU) – At least two police officers have been shot in Louisville, Kentucky, on Wednesday as anger mounts after no officers were charged with offenses directly linked to the March 13 killing of Breonna Taylor.
Initial reports from WDRB said that an officer was shot at the intersection of Brook and Broadway in downtown Louisville just before 8 p.m. Wednesday. The news was later confirmed by LMPD Spokesperson Lamont Washington in an email.
“JUST IN — MetroSafe confirms a police officer was just shot at Brook and Broadway. #Louisville,” Fallon Glick, of WDRB-TV, said in a tweet.
A subsequent report came that at least two officers had been shot, according to local reports.
Further details remain unknown about the circumstances of the shooting, as well as the condition of the officers, and police have yet to make a formal statement regarding the incident.
It remains unclear if the shootings were directly tied to the protests.
OFFICER SHOT: Per MetroSafe, one LMPD Officer has been shot at Brook & Broadway. This is a look outside U of L hospital right now, the ER entrance off Chestnut & Hancock. @WDRBNews #Louisville pic.twitter.com/LFCMr5624O
— Katrina Helmer (@KatrinaWDRB) September 24, 2020
On Wednesday evening, police in riot gear, National Guard troops and armored military vehicles concentrated in the center of the Kentucky city as protesters responded with grief and anger to grand jury decision not to charge police officers for the killing of Taylor.
The Courier Journal reports that a photographer said he saw “a line of officers move toward a gas station with rifles up. Shortly after, they had somebody pinned to the ground and cuffed.” It is still unclear if the arrest was tied to the shooting of the officers.
Another video posted by user “FJ News Reporter” alleged that “Louisville Rioters” had shot live rounds at police.
BREAKING VIDEO – Louisville Rioters shoot live rounds at police, injuring at least 1 so far pic.twitter.com/b9ju1jFzaS
— FJ News Reporter (@FJNewsReporter) September 24, 2020
The shots apparently came after police had deployed chemical agents against community protesters, according to at least one tweet.
“Sh*t, they’re shooting real guns,” someone can be heard shouting in the video. “They’re blasting at the police!”
The reports of violence come after authorities announced earlier in the day that the officers involved in the killing of Taylor – namely Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly and officers Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove – would not face criminal charges, enraging advocates and critics of police violence who have described Taylor’s death as the result of “murder.”
Former officer Brett Hankison was criminally charged with three counts of “wanton enforcement in the first degree” for his actions during the botched raid, primarily for blindly firing 10 shots into her apartment. However, none of the charges are directly related to the killing of Taylor.
Instead, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said that the grand jury charged the former detective because the shots passed through her apartment walls into a neighboring apartment, endangering the lives of her three neighbors present at the time.
On the night of March 13, the undercover officers obtained a no-knock search warrant intended to find illicit drugs.
Louisville Metro Police deployed a battering ram to force their way into the apartment before Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker fired a warning shot that struck an officer. Police responded with 35 rounds, including 10 rounds fired “blindly” by an officer.
Walker maintains that the officers failed to identify themselves, but police claim that they knocked first.
Police also claimed in their initial report that Taylor was not injured by their bullets, which later turned out to be an obvious lie.
Taylor had been studying to be a nurse and worked at two local hospitals as an EMT during the ongoing pandemic before her killer’s bullets tragically cut her life short.
The crime of “wanton endangerment” is a Class D felony in Kentucky, meaning it can carry a sentence of only one to five years in prison and a fine on conviction for each count. Hankinson’s bail was only set for $15,000.
The lenient charge has reignited anger and unrest in cities across the U.S. on Wednesday.
Throughout Wednesday night, protesters marched through the streets of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Philadelphia and other cities.
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.