‘We’re her voice’: In downtown protest, hundreds call for justice for Breonna Taylor

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SAN DIEGO – Hundreds of San Diegans marched downtown Wednesday in a call for justice to honor the late Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old medical worker fatally shot in her home in March by Louisville police officers in a botched drug raid.

It comes following a grand jury decision Wednesday to indict just one of the three officers involved in the operation. None were charged for their involvement in Taylor’s death.

Protesters from two separate groups joined up to march a three-mile stretch starting from the corner of 8th and B Street, traveling down Broadway and near the waterfront.

The protest was peaceful through much of the evening, but later that night, San Diego police declared the gathering an unlawful assembly in response to “acts of violence and vandalism” near the department’s headquarters at 1401 Broadway. Two people were seen throwing rocks at police patrol units in a parking lot.

Officers had arrested 10 people near the event by the end of the night, police confirmed Thursday morning. That included seven for refusing to leave the area, one for stealing a phone from someone nearby, one for trying to steal a flag and one reckless driving.

“We’re not going to let the community forget her name,” group leader DeAnn Salcido said. “Say her name: ‘Breonna.’ She needs to be heard. We’re her voice. We are going to make sure the people here have the right to protest and as our group, we’re just here to keep the peace.”

As of 10:15 p.m., the department declared demonstrators to disperse “immediately.”

“There are several routes allowing free movement out of the area,” the department said in a tweet.

Earlier in the evening, Salcido and several others were seen out front of the group in yellow shirts to guide demonstrators along the route. Many argued justice had not been served for Taylor as only Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for shooting into neighboring apartments.

“It’s a beautiful way to keep saying her name and let people know it’s still going on and obviously, per today, we haven’t gotten justice,” Athena Bazalaki said. Bazalaki is part of the group “Run For Breonna Taylor,” which has been running a 5K every day since Taylor was killed.

“We’re going to be out here until justice was served because that could be me, that could be you, that could be my children,” she said. “It could be anyone.”

Their protest struck a similar tone to others held in communities across the country this week from New York City to Chicago to Los Angeles as well as in Louisville, where officials declared a curfew overnight to try to keep protesters home.

Some local protesters said Wednesday’s protests are just the beginning.

“We’re going to keep running every day, as we have been,” Bazalaki said. “We’re going to organize, keep moving, making our voices heard in the streets until justice is served.”

As of Thursday morning, barricades were still blocking the entrance to the department’s headquarters.

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