Democrat lawmaker who introduced ‘Breonna’s Law’ and her daughter both arrested during protests

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LOUISVILLE, KY- Law and order?  Who needs it.

The state lawmaker behind a police reform bill known as “Breonna’s Law” has been arrested.  She and a group of rioters were picked up during the protests that erupted the day after the announcement of the grand jury’s decision to not file murder charges against the officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.

State Rep. Attica Scott (D-KY), who has served on the legislature since 2017, has been a proponent in pushing for legislation outlawing no-knock warrants. According to the arrest report, she was part of a “large group” that was order to disperse, but failed to do so.

The report said:

“Subjects caused extensive damage at multiple locations including setting fire to the Louisville public library.”

The report also stated that Scott faced allegations of felony rioting, failure to disperse, and unlawful assembly. She has disputed the allegations and she was was an advocate for the library.

She said in a statement after being released from Metro Corrections:

“I never saw any of this so-called violence against the library. I’m offended that would be a charge against me because I was one of the main advocates for the library.”

Wave3 News reported that Scott said she was recording a livestream in the minutes leading up to the arrest. Scott said she was walking from Broadway to First Unitarian Church in hopes of reaching it before curfew went into effect. Scott can be heard saying in the video:

“I want y’all to see, we’re trying to get to sanctuary.”

The Louisville Jefferson County Democratic Party has called for an investigation into what happened. Allegedly, Scott’s adult daughter, Ashanti Scott was also arrested. Virginia Woodward, the party chair said:

“I want a full investigation, full accountability. Was this the easiest group to pick up after what happened at the library?”

Following Scott’s arrest, Democrat State Rep. Josie Raymond tweeted out a plea for her release:

“If you arrest the loudest voices fighting racial injustice in Louisville, we have to believe you want to silence the fight against racial injustice. Let @atticascott4ky and @seasoned4 out and get out of their way.”

Back on August 16th, Scott announced that she pre-filed legislation, called Breonna’s Law to end no-knock search warrants in Kentucky and to “increase” police accountability. Scott stated:

“There was never a need for no-knock search warrants like the one used in Breonna’s case and while this type of warrant is no banned here in Metro Louisville and appears to have little use elsewhere, I want to make sure statewide law keeps it from ever coming back.”

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said in an announcement after the grand jury’s decision that the three officers who were asked to serve the search warrant had no prior involvement in the investigation leaded it to be issued. Cameron said:

“Evidence shows that officers both knocked and announced their presence at the apartment.”

Cameron added that an independent witness corroborated that evidence. Following Cameron’s announcement, Scott tweeted:

“Cameron did not deliver just today and neither did the grand jury.”

View this post on Instagram

#justiceforbreonnataylor

A post shared by Attica Scott (@atticascott4ky) on

A state lawmaker told Wave3 News that Scott would not automatically lose her sear in the legislature if convicted of a felony. Instead, other lawmakers would have to decide on their on as to whether she should be censured, fined, or expelled.

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LOUISVILLE, KY – Democratic State Representative Attica Scott of Kentucky was among the 24 protestors arrested Thursday night near the First Unitarian Church in Louisville.

Thursday marked the second night of protests in the wake of Louisville’s grand jury verdict in the case of the death of Breonna Taylor. 

The three officers involved were not indicted in Taylor’s death. 

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with having fired shots that ended up in a neighboring apartment, and he was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree.

Rep. Scott is the author of Breonna’s Law, which in part calls for an end to no-knock warrants and requires body camera footage whenever warrants are served.

Scott said of the law:

“You asked that we end home invasions by police and that’s what Breonna’s Law for Kentucky does.

“You might call them no-knock warrants but they are home invasions.”

According to WFPL, Scott, her daughter, and activist Shameka Parrish-Wright, were all charged with “first-degree rioting, unlawful assembly and failure to disperse.”  Scott and her daughter were reportedly released on their own recognizance.

WPFL also notes that first degree rioting is a Class D felony, and if convicted, under Kentucky law, Scott would lose her ability to vote.

Following the release of the grand jury’s findings, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer instituted a nightly curfew that began Wednesday night at 9 pm.  The curfew has been extended through the weekend and is in effect from 9pm through 6:30 am.

Mayor Fischer encouraged people to go home at 8pm.

Exempt from the curfew are those commuting to and from work, those needing medical attention, and those “going to houses of worship for services.”

It is the latter group that protestors including Scott claimed to be a part of Thursday night as they remained out past curfew and made their way to First Unitarian Church in Louisville.

According to the Sun, 200 to 300 protestors gathered at the church after curfew and after police had declared unlawful assembly.

A man who identified himself as “Brother Tim” did not mention worship services when he described to a twitter user what the church was offering that night.

He said:

“On the emergency orders, houses of worship are exempt from the curfew. 

“So we’ve opened this up as, or the church has opened this up as a sanctuary, so a place you can get refreshments, a place to get legal aid if they need, or to see medics if they need.  But it’s a safer zone for people.” 

One church member identified as “Lynette” added:

“Our purpose in offering sanctuary to folks here this evening is to provide a safe space of love and compassion in the service of justice.”

Evidently, however, not all those seeking refuge at the church were welcome, as one participant was heard to be yelling,

“All you white motherf*****s leave!”

For her part, Rep. Attica Scott live-streamed herself walking toward the church with a small group, and appeared to have her own agenda with regards to police in the area.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

#justiceforbreonnataylor

A post shared by Attica Scott (@atticascott4ky) on

Announcing on the video that it was “curfew time,” rather than heading home, she headed with others toward areas of police presence, filming on the way.

While filming police lights, she announced:

“These police are ridiculous.”

She added:

“What they’re doing, which is ridiculous, is they are blocking us from getting to sanctuary at a church when [Mayor] Fischer said for churches to open their doors so that people who are traumatized can have emotional and spiritual support.

“Right?  Right?  That’s what he said.”

As she continued walking, not in contact with police, she said:

“We are trying to get to sanctuary at First Unitarian Church, ok?

“So I want y’all to know that they are trying to keep us from doing that….

“We are trying to get there, and I want you to see what the police are doing.”

She then encountered officers, and asked repeatedly,

“Where do you want us to go?”

The officer told her at least three times:

“Go back.”

Attica did not go back as instructed.

Off-camera, someone else was instructed to, “Get down,” and “Don’t reach for anything.”

Attica repeated several times at this point:

“They want to kill us.”

She then added:

“We were trying to go inside, which is what we’re supposed to do….

“and they wouldn’t let us, so they actually are trying to set us up.”

The video ended after an officer calmly instructed her twice to turn off her video camera.

One reason for the large police presence near the church was reportedly damage to the nearby Louisville Free Public Library.  A window was smashed and a WFPL reporter observed a flare being thrown into the building.

According to the Gateway Pundit, the library was attacked at approximately 15 minutes after the curfew went into effect.

Furthermore, Louisville Metro Police Department had already declared unlawful assembly in light of  “several incidents of destruction” committed by protestors.

According to the LMPD facebook page, such destruction included damage to buses, arson attempt, and damage to the library as described above.

LMPD also announced:

Officers remained at 4th and York [the location of the church] in order to secure the area so maintenance could address the library windows that were broken and an arson investigation begun.

“Once that was complete, police left the area and protestors were given directions on how to leave the church and head home and were able to walk back to their vehicles.

“At least 24 people were arrested throughout the evening for charges including unlawful assembly, failure to disperse and riot in the first degree.”

A police report allegedly reflecting Scott’s arrest states:

“Above subt was part of a large group that was given mult order verbally to disperse and failed to do so.  Subjects caused extensive damage at multiple locations including setting fire to the Louisville Public library.”

Naturally, objections arose regarding the arrest. 

The Louisville Free Public Library union, AFSCME Local 3425, defended Scott on their Facebook page, saying:

“We have seen no proof that the flare thrown into the library has done any major damage, nor that Representative Scott had anything to do with it, and find these accusations inconsistent with her character and the constant support we have received from her.”

Regardless of whether she was involved in “major damage,” the fact remains that Rep. Scott failed to disperse as directed, and in fact showed herself on video continuing to head toward a gathering of 200 to 300 protestors and a large police presence, ignoring requests to go back.

 

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