The mother of a black woman killed by police has urged protesters 'to keep demanding justice but without hurting each other' after seven people were injured in gunfire at a demonstration in Louisville.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear read the statement from Breonna Taylor's mother hours after gunshots erupted during protests late Thursday outside City Hall. One person was in critical condition, Louisville Metro Police said Friday.
Mayor Greg Fischer said police officers had fired no shots and provided aid to the wounded, with terrified protesters fleeing as gunfire erupted.
Taylor's mother Tamika Palmer said her daughter - an emergency medical technician - devoted her life to others and the "last thing she'd want right now is any more violence."
"Please keep saying her name," her statement said. "Please keep demanding justice and accountability, but let's do it the right way without hurting each other. We can and we will make some real change here. Now is the time. Let's make it happen, but safely."
The Louisville protests followed the release of a 911 call Taylor's boyfriend made on March 13, moments after the 26-year-old EMT was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door. No drugs were found in the home.
Thursday night's demonstration came as protesters across the country, in cities including Los Angeles, Denver, New York and Memphis, turned out in alliance with demonstrators protesting Floyd's death in Minneapolis.
"During these times, we can condemn violence while also trying to listen, to understand, to know that there is deep frustration, rightfully so, in our country," Beshear said. "That there has not been enough action on creating equality, of opportunity and in health care. And in a time of this COVID-19 pandemic, it's laid bare all of that."
Meanwhile, Louisville's mayor said the use of no-knock warrants by police was being suspended, the latest in a series of policy changes and others actions in response to Taylor's death.
Attention on Taylor's death has intensified since her family sued the police department this month. The case has attracted national headlines alongside the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia in February and the recent death of Floyd, who pleaded for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck.