Updated September 25, 2020 - 12:25 am
A march on the Las Vegas Strip drew more than 100 people calling for justice in the death of Breonna Taylor, after a Kentucky grand jury determined there was no criminal violation by the officers involved in her shooting.
Protester Andrea Sarnataro, 20, said she had taken part in nearly a dozen protests in June, before she got too busy with school but after seeing Wednesday’s protest in downtown Las Vegas, she said she felt angry at the way police detained people and decided to come out.
“It’s important for us to stand in solidarity for something bigger than us,” said the Las Vegas resident who carried a sign that read, “If you aren’t outraged you aren’t paying attention.”
Six people were detained Wednesday night during a protest around Fremont Street that brought 150 people downtown.
Booker Reid, 39, said he usually sticks to off-Strip protests, but on Thursday night he wanted to support Sanders after hearing about the grand jury results.
“This is a social injustice,” said Reid, who lives in Las Vegas’ Spring Valley area. “I want to have my voice heard.”
Reid carried his Black Lives Matter flag on his back, as he said he does at every rally.
Prior to Thursday’s march, organizer Stretch Sanders set down ground rules for the group, including not talking to police and staying together.
“Stay focused on the mission,” he said.” Don’t walk into a situation if it’s not necessary.”
Sanders also encouraged the group to to not just protest but to get involved in their community. He cited Martin Luther King’s work.
“Fifty years ago all these ethnicities being together would have been illegal,” he said. “Look at the changes that were made that led to this.”
At 8:30 p.m. the group had entered a footbridge outside a Strip resort where three street performers were playing guitar, tambourine and drumsticks while singing.
Sanders asked the group to fill a hat with cash for the performers because the protest was blocking their ability to make money from passersby. The marchers raised $25 for the men, Sanders said.
After about three hours of marching, the protest returned to its starting point near the Sahara Las Vegas, having walked 4 miles peacefully down Las Vegas Boulevard.
The protests Wednesday and Thursday have come in response to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s statement regarding the officers who shot Taylor and the result of a Kentucky grand jury determination on Wednesday.
“The grand jury determined that there is no evidence to support a criminal violation of state law caused Ms. Taylor’s death,” Cameron said Wednesday. The grand jury did indict one of the officers for shooting into a neighboring home.
Taylor, 26, was fatally shot on March 13 by police in her Kentucky apartment after officers came to her door with a narcotics warrant.
Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, has said he didn’t know the police were at the door, and he fired a “warning shot,” thinking it was an intruder, according to The Associated Press. After Walker fired, three officers returned fire, for a total of 32 gunshots fired by police.