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'Did that really happen?' Louisville activists reflect on federal charges in Breonna Taylor case

Activists from "Breewayy" and many other organizations took to Jefferson Square Park to share their hope moving forward.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson Square Park was the centerpiece of the 2020 protests for Breonna Taylor. Now, it's taken on a different tone.

Thursday, the U.S. Attorney General announced charges against four former and current Louisville Metro Police officers.

The Department of Justice said the charges stem from the warrant filed for Breonna Taylor's home and an alleged cover-up after the fact.

Thursday afternoon, Taylor's family and loved ones praised the decision.

"I thought, this is unbelievable. Did that really happen?" Louisville activist and poet Hannah Drake said.

Shock and relief are what Drake said she was feeling when she heard the news.

"I had not in my lifetime, really seen police held accountable outside of George Floyd," Drake said.

Reverend F. Bruce Williams is the Senior Pastor at Bates Memorial Baptist Church, and he marched in the protests.

He said during the protests he spoke with the FBI.

"We were kind of encouraged by the fact that they were committed, they said, to doing a thorough job. But we're still kind of skeptical given the nature of the criminal justice system historically," Williams said.

He said the news of the indictments is promising to him but not the end of this battle.

"These are indictments, that's important. But they're not the same thing as a verdict, a guilty verdict. But they're the road to it," Williams said.

Activists from "Breewayy" and many other organizations took to Jefferson Square Park to share their hope moving forward.

Shameka Parish-Wright, a former mayoral candidate, said the problems in this city run deep.

Credit: Alyssa Newton/WHAS-TV
Shameka Parrish-Wright is seen speaking at a rally held in Jefferson Square Park the day federal charges were announced in Breonna Taylor's case Aug. 4.

"I am honored that we get to be here on Breonna Taylor's name but there's many who suffered like Breonna Taylor who will never get this kind of recognition," Parrish-Wright said.

Many expressed their concern with what they said was inaction by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron when it came to the state charges.

Activist Chris Will said when it comes to these charges, he felt there are more to come with how he said protestors were treated.

"The rest of you cops in the Louisville Metro Police Department do not get comfortable because they are coming to get you," Will said.

Drake said although this is a step in the right direction, it's not the preferred outcome.

"There is no winning when a 26-year-old black woman, who within her home, is now dead; winning is Breonna Taylor alive living her best life, that's winning," Drake said.

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