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LMPD Declared A State Of Emergency. Here's What That Means

Protesters march on overpass near Churchill Downs in Louisville on August, 25,2 020.
Protesters march on overpass near Churchill Downs in Louisville on August, 25,2 020.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has been under a state of emergency for more than six months, due to the coronavirus pandemic. And Louisville's state of emergency order is in effect through September. On Monday, the Louisville Metro Police Department's interim chief also declared a state of emergency as the city waits to learn whether LMPD officers who killed Breonna Taylor will face criminal charges.

According to Interim Chief Robert Schroeder's memo, the police state of emergency declaration gives him the authority to put the department's emergency response plan into place. Schroeder also canceled all days off indefinitely, but the state of emergency goes further.

What does the emergency response plan entail? That's not clear, because according to the LMPD's standard operating procedures, that plan is only available internally to LMPD staff.

LMPD spokesperson Lamont Washington said the emergency declaration allows the department to "enact whatever work schedule best fits the needs of the department at the time."

City workers began Monday night to prepare the city for protests anticipated after Attorney General Daniel Cameron announces whether the LMPD officers who shot Taylor in March have been indicted.

Officer Brett Hankison was fired by LMPD for his actions while he and other LMPD officers executed a middle of the night warrant at Taylor's home. Hankison shot into the home from outside.

Officers Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly also fired on Taylor, and they remain on paid administrative leave.

As the nation awaits the news, Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, posted a simple message on Instagram.

"Dear Breonna, Justice is coming."

Kate Howard is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.