Pittsburgh protesters on Friday honored what would have been the 27th birthday of Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot in March by police officers in Kentucky. On the same day, the seventh of anti-racist demonstrations locally, the Pittsburgh police bureau announced a multi-agency task force to target the “small group of people intent on causing destruction” amid the largely peaceful protests.
The task force, formed earlier this week, has already launched investigations into: “…people who have attacked journalists, looted business, caused property damage and committed other crimes such as arson,” the press release stated.
Protesters gathered in Friendship Park in Bloomfield at noon Friday calling for an end to system racism and police brutality against Black citizens and protesters. The hundreds in attendance marched from Friendship Park about 2 miles to Lyndhurst Green in Point Breeze, where they stopped to hold a vigil in honor of Taylor and her birthday.
Louisville, Kentucky police officers killed Taylor at the age of 26 in her home on March 13. Police were executing a search warrant in a drug case when they broke into her apartment and shot her eight times. Media reports indicate that the home of Taylor, an emergency medical technician, was included in the search warrant out of suspicion that a man was receiving packages containing drugs at her home. No arrests have been made in her fatal shooting.
Also on Friday in Pittsburgh, about 200 healthcare workers at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and another group at UPMC Presbyterian left the buildings midday to make a statement against racial injustice.
Some 500 people — of whom at least half were White — formed up at the McDonald’s on West Liberty Avenue, in Beechview, around 4 p.m. Friday. The crowd progressed down West Liberty Avenue, escorted by police and joined by a handful of officers, as Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert observed from the sidelines.
A resident lights a candle for Breonna Taylor during a demonstration in Lyndhurst Green on June 5, 2020. (Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource)
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