Louisville is engulfed in protests and has been all summer long. In that time, Louisville Metro Police have arrested at least 46 people for burglary charges and deemed them to be connected to the protests, according to data provided by the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Despite the contagious virus taking root inside the jail, judges continue to set bail amounts that are out of reach for some people. Government agencies lean on a set of narrow parameters when deciding who gets set free. The pandemic is also leading to delayed court hearings for some people, resulting in extended stays behind bars where they risk infection.
The result: Hundreds of people stuck in a cramped jail as a dangerous, contagious virus spreads, infects and, in some cases, kills. Many inmates and their families are turning to bail funds for a shot at getting out of confinement.
The green house at the corner of 29th and St. Xavier streets is still scarred with bullet holes. Larry Jordan points them out one-by-one as a crowd gathers on the sidewalk. Nearly everyone comes wearing a red t-shirt with a picture of Jordan’s son, Demonjhea, emblazoned on the front. Demonjhea Jordan was killed by Louisville Metro Police in a hail of gunfire that erupted shortly after noon on April 24, 2018.
During a week when thousands have taken to Louisville’s streets in protest, many have pressed a demand on Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and police leaders — fire the officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor. But Fischer and others have pointed to due process requirements for officers — some set in state law, others in a union contract — in saying there is no quick or easy action they can take to discipline the officers without a thorough investigation. Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was killed by plainclothes Louisville Metro police detectives in March, who burst into her home to serve a search warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend has said he thought the home was getting broken into when he fired a shot and struck an officer in the leg; the officers’ return shots killed Taylor.
Her death sparked national outrage and was a catalyst for the recent protests that have erupted in Louisville and across the rest of the nation. But so far, city officials have said firing the officers involved in her killing isn’t an option, at least for now.