SOMERVILLE, NJ - Saturday's protest rally at the Historic Somerset County Courthouse was a family-friendly event, with young children clutching the hands of their parents as they mixed in with the crowd.
Organizer Jade McQueen reminded the gathering of a few dozen people that they had come together to seek justice for Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman killed by police gunfire during a raid at her Louisville, Ky. apartment in March
A Grand Jury last week renewed outrage over Taylor's death when it decided to not indict the three police officers involved in Taylor's shooting death. Violent protests broke out that night, with two police officers being shot.
Following a few brief remarks on the steps of the courthouse, the protestors began a trek down Main Street to Borough Hall and back, mimicking other protest marches held at the courthouse beginning in June.
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.
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 and racial equality, 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 as many as 1,000 protestors marching through the downtown shopping and restaurant district.
Our Revolution Hillsborough will sponsor a Candlelight Vigil for Taylor on Sunday between 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the soccer field complex in Woodfield Park off Amwell Road. ORH has also sponsored protest marches this summer.
All the protests have been peaceful.