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Beshear Declines Trump’s Offer Of ‘Help’ During Protests

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear gives a media briefing at the State Capitol Building on July 14, 2020.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear gives a media briefing at the State Capitol Building on July 14, 2020.

Gov. Andy Beshear says he spoke with President Donald Trump on Wednesday night, following the president’s offer to provide federal help responding to protests in Louisville.

Beshear said he appreciated the president’s call but they both agreed that the state didn’t need additional law enforcement to respond to the protests at this time.

“His comments were that it appeared we had things under the control. He did make an offer if at a later point we needed additional assistance, he would provide it,” Beshear said.

“But he stated, and I agreed, that at this time we have appropriate levels of law enforcement or peacekeepers there, and that if necessary we have the ability on the state level to increase that level of support.”

Trump’s offer came over Twitter Wednesday night after two police officers were shot during protests in Louisville following a grand jury’s decision to not indict any officers for their role in Breonna Taylor’s death.

One officer, Brett Hankison, was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment for shooting into neighbors’ apartments during the raid on Taylor’s apartment.

“Praying for the two police officers that were shot tonight in Louisville, Kentucky. The Federal Government stands behind you and is ready to help. Spoke to @GovAndyBeshear and we are prepared to work together, immediately upon request!” Trump wrote on Wednesday night.

The two officers who were shot on Wednesday night are recovering from their injuries.

26 year-old Larynzo Johnson was arrested in connection with the shooting, and charged with two counts of assaulting a police officer and 14 counts of wanton endangerment.

On Thursday, Beshear condemned the shooting.

“We need to ensure that any type of activity or demonstrations remain nonviolent and remain peaceful. We have to understand just one person can mar something that otherwise is done the right way,” Beshear said.

Beshear called in the National Guard and Kentucky State Police on Wednesday to assist local police’s response to the protests, and said their presence would continue on Thursday. Federal agents from Federal Protective Service, FBI, ATF have already been involved.

During a press conference Thursday morning, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said he didn’t need Trump’s offer for federal support.

“We have the resources we need right here on the ground in Louisville,” Fischer said.

People have been protesting in Louisville since late May, with many calling for the officers involved in Taylor’s death to be charged with murder.

Fischer has restricted access to much of downtown Louisville and imposed a 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. curfew.