LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Activists and loved ones are still expressing relief Friday after multiple current and former Louisville Metro Police officers were arrested on federal charges in the Breonna Taylor case.
It was a moment so many were waiting for since Taylor was killed in her home in March of 2020.
Though many celebrate Thursday’s federal arrests, it also highlights the ripple affects the alleged falsified warrant brought - not just to Taylor's family, but those who demanded justice for her.
"I'm fighting two protest charges right now for two years,” Jamel Lewis said during a celebration at Jefferson Square Park Thursday.
"I still am fighting off these charges,” Jason Downey said. "A lot of us are still going through the motions."
Downey said he, and others, have been to court several times, refusing to plead guilty to charges they don't agree with.
Now, the DOJ's investigation revealing the warrant that allowed officers to enter Taylor's home was based on alleged lies, causes more pause for protesters like Downey.
"We were right, and even if we weren't right, it's our first amendment right,” he said. “We have the freedom to assemble, and those things were infringed upon."
And, Downey said even if they are found not guilty, it won't change the past.
"There's no apology to us. There's no, 'well you had to miss 7 days of work, so here's the pay for the 7 days you missed,’” Downey said.
Louisville Urban League Director Sadiqa Reynolds said any charges still held against protesters should be dropped.
"It is obvious that the protesters were right,” she said at Jefferson Square Park Thursday.
It’s something Attorney David Mour agrees with. He represented dozens of protesters, some still with pending cases.
Mour said nearly every case should be dismissed, except for those involving injuries to a citizen, officer or damage to property.
"Every single one of those is the responsibility of LMPD because had they not planted the seed that grew the tree, none of this would have happened,” Mour said.
Bishop Dennis Lyons, a pivotal figure in west Louisville, said the same; he also adds the community must continue building its relationship with LMPD at the same time.
“If we would, number one, sit down, and each side would admit that areas that we have failed in, and then if we would be willing to not only admit, but submit to one another,” Lyons said.
Looking back, despite everything, Downey said he'd do it all again because the movement affected lasting change.
"The real ripple effect, regardless of charges, regardless of inconveniences, is that there's a whole lot of people out there who are going to continue to fight to try to make the world a better place because it's the right thing to do and we're now very much aware of that,” he said,
It's a lesson Lewis also said was well worth it.
"As a protester, this is liberating,” he said. “Everything we've been doing - marching, protesting, praying in the streets, it actually paid off."
The Jefferson County Attorney’s Office sent the following statement to WHAS:
“The Jefferson County Attorney’s Office has reviewed nearly 900 individual protest related cases. Each was reviewed on a case-by-case basis by a team of experienced prosecutors. This thorough review led to the dismissal of many cases where protestors were exercising their first amendment rights. The remaining cases involve violence, the threat of violence, property damage, or the obstruction of a highway. Those cases are being resolved by plea agreements or will be set for trial.
has reviewed nearly 900 individual protest related cases. Each was reviewed on a case-by-case basis by a team of experienced prosecutors. This thorough review led to the dismissal of many cases where protestors were exercising their first amendment rights. The remaining cases involve violence, the threat of violence, property damage, or the obstruction of a highway. Those cases are being resolved by plea agreements or will be set for trial.”