Opposing groups confront each other at Kentucky Derby protest


On Saturday, protesters and counter-protesters took to the streets of Louisville near the famed Kentucky Derby horse race.

A group of protesters for racial justice yelled, “Breonna Taylor,” while the group of about 200 pro-police demonstrators yelled, “Back the Blue,” according to a live update from WLKY News.

Demonstrators argue in front of the Louisville Metro Hall on September 5, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Breonna Taylor is the name of the 26-year-old emergency medical technician who was killed during a police raid. Her death, along with the death’s of other unarmed Black people, sparked protests across the country.

READ MORE: Over 93 percent of summer protests were peaceful: report

Charged with tension, the face-to-face confrontation between the opposing protest groups did not escalate to violence once the police appeared on the scene dressed in riot gear, breaking up a scuffle between the two groups.

As the attorney general continues to investigate Taylor’s death, some protesters have called for the cancellation of the Kentucky Derby this year, stating that holding the event is insensitive and a distraction from the ongoing demand for justice.

The Churchill Downs racetrack issued a statement Thursday, defending its decision to move forward with the race.

“Churchill Downs is committed to engaging in the hard conversations in our city, our port and within our own organization,” the statement read.

“We are committed to taking real, concrete action to address institutional roadblocks to progress and playing our part in advancing the changes America so desperately needs.”

READ MORE: Kentucky Attorney General says new report on Breonna Taylor is inconclusive

According Reuters, a group of pro-Trump demonstrators gathered early Saturday morning with plans to march through predominately Black neighborhoods, but the group’s leader changed his mind after learning that the Black Lives Matter protesters intended to protest along the same route.

During a protest overnight in Portland, Oregon, police arrested 27 people mostly on charges of interfering with law enforcement or disorderly conduct.

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