SOMERVILLE, NJ - Central New Jersey activists will participate in a Saturday afternoon protest at the Historic Somerset County Courthouse while on Sunday evening, Our Revolution of Hillsborough will host a candlelight vigil in the aftermath of a Grand Jury decision in Louisville, Ky earlier this week to not indict three police officers in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman.
The "Somerville Standup" protest on Saturday will begin at 4 p.m. according to organizer Jade McQueen.
The candlelight vigil in Hillsborough on Sunday will be at the soccer fields in Woodfield Park off Amwell Road, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., according to organizer Gabe Salazar.
"We will honor Breonna Taylor and demand further justice for her by having all three cops involved to be criminally charged for her death," he said.
Taylor was inside her apartment March 13 with her boyfriend when police with a "no knock" search warrant battered in the door, with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, a licensed gun owner, shooting at the police, who returned fire.
Taylor, an emergency medical technician who had plans to become a nurse, was struck by six bullets and died. One of the police officers was shot in the thigh. Her boyfriend was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, but those charges were dropped two months later.
Taylor's family filed a wrongful death suit against the police on April 27; on June 11, the Louisville Metro Council passed "Breonna's Law," which prohibits "no knock" warrants. Police said the search of the apartment was part of a broader investigation. No drugs were found, or anything illegal.
On Wednesday, Sept. 23 the grand jury charged only one of the three officers involved in the shooting death of Taylor,- a lesser charge of wanton endangerment. No one was charged in her shooting death.
Protests erupted in Louisville immediately after the announcement, with two police officers being shot.
The outrage surrounding Taylor's death earlier this year became magnified following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis on May 25.
Floyd, who was being detained and questioned by police about counterfeit money, was handcuffed and held down to the ground alongside a patrol car, with a police officer kneeling against Floyd's neck.
A crowd gathered, with the incident captured on cell phone cameras. The videos show Floyd pleading with police, repeatedly saying "I can't breathe." An ambulance took him to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Autopsies showed he died of suffocation. Four police officers were immediately dismissed from the department. One faces second degree murder charges, the other three with aiding and abetting.
Over the summer, and continuing today, hundreds of thousands of protestors across the country have gathered to rally and demand justice, in some instances spawning rioting and looting in dozens of cities.
Beginning in June, the lawn surrounding the Somerville courthouse has seen a dozen protests, with many spilling over on to Main Street, with protestors marching through the downtown shopping and restaurant district.
Our Revolution Hillsborough also sponsored two protest marches this summer.
All the protests have been peaceful.
Masks and social distancing are requested at both events.