LOUISVILLE, Ky. — More than 20 protestors charged with blocking a Louisville bridge in 2020 have accepted a plea agreement that includes community service, officials said.
According to a press release, Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell’s office offered the agreement to 26 protestors who blocked the Second Street Bridge following the death of Breonna Taylor earlier that year.
Their trials were scheduled to begin in November.
As part of the plea deal, each defendant will need to complete 20 hours of community service. The individuals can request to have the charge expunged from their records 30 days after the court dismisses their case.
Originally 43 people were arrested and charged for obstructing a highway and disorderly conduct. More than two dozen still have a pending court date or open bench warrant for failing to appear in court.
“We have reviewed protest-related cases in a consistent and professional manner, working as we do every day to ensure that every member of the community is treated fairly before the law,” O’Connell said. “We believe this was a just offer in recognition that the actions of these individuals could have placed members of our community, including themselves, in danger.”
Louisville activists have been vocal about wanting to see charges dropped altogether for arrests against protestors, saying they wouldn't have been out there, had Taylor not died during the botched LMPD raid.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced earlier this year that four former LMPD officers were being charged with violating Taylor's civil rights, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction offenses.
In late August, former LMPD detective Kelly Goodlett pleaded guilty to falsifying information in the search warrant used to raid Taylor's apartment.
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