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LMPD Investigating Reports Of Gunfire Directed At Protesters Downtown

092320 Breonna Taylor Memorial 1
Demonstrators gather around a memorial to Breonna Taylor at Jefferson Square Park on Sept. 23, 2020.

Protesters at Jefferson Square Park say gunfire was directed at their gathering Saturday evening. Witnesses described a car containing white men and adorned with a large Trump 2020 flag circling the square before at least one of the men shot several rounds into the air. 

No injuries were reported. An LMPD spokesperson said a report has been filed and police are investigating. 

Protesters at the square say this is not the first time gunfire has been directed at them. The square has become the center of the movement protesting the killing of Breonna Taylor.

“Every day there’s been some kind of conflict” with white supremacists, said Paul Gardner, a chef and regular protest presence who was at the square on Saturday night.

Protesters claim LMPD is quick to target demonstrators for infractions but slow or unresponsive to threats and attacks against protesters. 

“It’s ridiculous, and we know [LMPD] got it on camera because all they do is watch us,” said Shameka Parrish-Wright, a protest organizer who also witnessed the shooting. “They never come out when it’s the racist people we know are shooting.”

Asked about video of the incident, an LMPD spokesperson said release of evidence would be “premature” due to the ongoing investigation.

State Rep. Attica Scott also witnessed the shooting. She said protesters were grilling and children were playing when the men "drove around us scoping us out" before circling back and firing shots at protesters. "This. Is. America," Scott tweeted.

Graham Ambrose is an investigative reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. He is a Report for America corps member.