Protesters march in downtown Charleston, vow to return Saturday

Updated: Sep. 26, 2020 at 12:18 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Protesters were back in downtown Charleston Friday night, at one point facing off with a line of police officers during a heated moment.

Protesters said someone walking by yelled a derogatory term at them and police stepped in between protesters and the passerby. Some of the protesters then reportedly accused the police of protecting “white supremacists.”

That interaction sent ripples of anger, producing several more heated moments. Several in the group tried to keep everyone calm and defuse the situation while a good portion of the protesters decided to leave.

The anger eventually gave way to emotional outcries with chants of “Being black is not a crime” and “we have the right to have feelings.”

Police said there were no arrests.

The protests this week in Charleston and cities across the country were sparked by a Kentucky grand jury’s decision to bring no charges against Louisville police for the killing of Breonna Taylor during a drug raid gone wrong, with prosecutors saying Wednesday that two officers who fired their weapons at the Black woman were justified in using force to protect themselves after they faced gunfire.

The only charges were three counts of wanton endangerment against fired Officer Brett Hankison for shooting into a home next to Taylor’s that had people in it. The FBI is still investigating potential violations of federal law in connection with the raid at Taylor’s home on the night of March 13.

Taylor was shot multiple times by white officers who entered her home on a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation. State Attorney General Daniel Cameron, however, said the investigation showed the officers announced themselves before entering. The warrant used to search her home was connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside.

Protesters vowed to return to Marion Square on Saturday.

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