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Vehicles are being used as weapons against BLM protesters
03:19 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

A Kentucky grand jury’s decision to charge only one officer in connection with Breonna Taylor’s killing fanned the nation’s simmering outrage over racial injustice, with demonstrators taking their anger to the streets over the weekend.

Police brutality protests have erupted across the country since May, when George Floyd died in the custody of Minneapolis police. But last week’s decision in Louisville, Kentucky – in which five of the six officers involved in the raid on Taylor’s apartment saw no charges, while one was indicted but not for her actual killing – stoked the country’s already tense mood.

While most of the protests were peaceful, police made arrests after destruction and attacks on law enforcement in several cities.

Here is how some of those demonstrations played out:


Police officers put a protester in the back of a van on Saturday in Louisville.

Protesters have been taking to the streets since Wednesday, the day the state attorney general announced the Taylor decision. On Saturday, police arrested 25 people on a variety of charges, including rioting, curfew violations and theft.

Fires were set, school windows were smashed, buildings were tagged with graffiti and a car in the Spalding University parking lot was set ablaze with fireworks inside, Louisville police said.

Video from a Louisville police helicopter showed a fire burning in the street near a church. Police also released videos showing shattered glass doors and a heavily damaged light sign just off the street.

New York

Black Lives Matter protesters in Brooklyn demand justice for Breonna Taylor on Saturday.

The New York Police Department arrested at least a dozen protesters in Greenwich Village on Saturday, spokeswoman Denise Moroney said.

Eight individuals received summonses for disorderly conduct, she said.

The other four face charges including resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, walking on roadways and using an “amplified sound device” in a nearby park, she said in an email.

One man stands charged with assaulting a police officer.

Orange County, California

A car drives through a crowd of people at a protest in Yorba Linda, California.

A 40-year-old woman was arrested and charged with attempted murder and assault after hitting two protesters with a vehicle during a demonstration on Saturday in Yorba Linda, Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Carrie Braun said.

The protesters were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, she said.

Bystander footage showed a white car charge through a clutch of protesters, knocking some of them to the ground, as several others gave chase. Motorcycle police pulled over the driver and police in tactical gear held back an angry crowd as the driver was arrested, the video shows.

It’s not clear what happened before the bystander’s recording.

Between 250 and 300 protesters from opposing groups were marching around the city when the incident occurred, Braun said.

There were reports of fights and people using pepper spray on each other, as well as reports of people carrying firearms, she said. After the sheriff’s department declared an unlawful assembly, the groups dispersed, Braun said.

Portland, Oregon

Protesters and police face off in Portland on Saturday night.

After a day of mostly peaceful protests in Portland, the demonstrations turned violent as night fell Saturday, prompting police to declare a downtown gathering unlawful and make several arrests.

Antifa, Black Lives Matter and the Proud Boy, a right-wing group, all staged rallies at separate parks during the day Saturday, resulting in a handful of disturbances. Police declared the daytime protests largely peaceful.

Around 8:30 p.m. (11:30 p.m. ET) Saturday, several hundred demonstrators converged across the street from the Multnomah County Justice Center building that houses the Portland Police Bureau, and began blocking a nearby intersection, police say.

Skirmishes broke out with people throwing projectiles at police, who fired pepper balls at the crowd, according to CNN affiliate KATU. At one point during a traffic stop near the justice center, police were attacked with what they believe to be sling shots and ball bearings, authorities said. Police seized a can of bear spray and a tactical baton during one arrest, they said.

Police declared an unlawful assembly just before midnight, but the skirmishes continued, and officers made several arrests.


Police had to push back crowds so firefighters could douse blazes set around the city.

Police arrested 10 people after a group smashed windows, started fires and threw fireworks at officers, Seattle police said.

On Saturday evening, some protesters “wound their way through the city causing damage along the way,” the Seattle Police Department tweeted.

Police said they told the group to disperse, but the group defied the order and instead threw rocks, bottles and fireworks at officers.

Officers used blast balls to push the crowd back, allowing the Seattle Fire Department access to put the fires out, police said.

“I struggle with the fact that I too am angry about decisions being made in our country and everything happening, but how does smashing the windows and looting your small minority owned business who is doing everything to help build community, provide a safe third space and be there for the people help?” business owner Shiva Hippely wrote in an Instagram post showing smashed windows.

CNN’s Madeline Holcombe, Jenn Selva, Ganesh Setty, Alta Spells and Holly Yan contributed to this report.