“Justice is not achieved by trespassing on private property,” said KY’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron on Tuesday, July 14. This response followed the arrest of 87 protesters, who were demonstrating in front of Cameron’s home as part of the demands for the release of the long-awaited investigation into the wrongful-death of Breonna Taylor.
According to WHAS 11, the protesters were removed, arrested, and temporarily charged with felonies per the Attorney General’s request. On Friday, July 17, all felony charges to the protesters were dropped. This happened nearly two months after right-wing protesters hung Governor Andy Beshear in effigy, and demonstrated at the Governor’s house as an attempt to reopen the economy, enacting a very small police response. It also follows decades-long protests at Louisville’s independent abortion clinc, EMW Women’s Surgical Center.
The Black Lives Matter protesters are outraged by centuries of oppression to the Black community that has been manufactured by public systems. Following Breonna Taylor’s wrongful death by the hands of LMPD, and in conjunction with the response to George Floyd’s murder, protesters took to the streets to demand an end to sanctioned violence by the hands of the police.
After over a month of protests, two out of the three murderers that killed Breonna Taylor are still employed by the LMPD. In late- May, Mayor Greg Fischer turned over the Breonna Taylor investigation to Attorney General Daniel Cameron after Jefferson County Attorney, Mike O’Connell, recused himself from the case. Attorney General Cameron has not made the findings from the investigation public.
Protesters occupied Cameron’s front yard to demand the release of the Breonna Taylor investigation. It didn’t take long for 87 protesters to be removed from the property and arrested. To abortion clinic staff, escorts, and advocates; the response to this protest activity is baffling when considering the dangerous and violent environment posed outside of the clinic.
During the state-wide shut downs due to the uptick in COVID-19 cases, as many as 63 protesters crowded the sidewalk of EMW Women’s Surgical Center. Many people reported this crowd to Metro 311, in fear that patients may risk exposure to COVID-19. No action was taken by the police or any city official to disperse the crowd, or mandate social distancing practices take place among the protesters.
In Louisville, anti- abortion protesters regularly stalk, harass, and trespass on private property during hours of business. Patients are forced to face a traumatic experience and invasion of their privacy as they visit their doctor. On some days, LMPD cruisers are parked across the street, and sometimes around the corner, but even with their presence, they regularly ignore anti abortion protesters when they trespass, stalk, harass with contact, and more. There have been very few times where anti-abortion protesters have been arrested, where they are apprehended in a very gently by LMPD.
Furthermore, the gross negligence of the LMPD in front of EMW furthers more trauma and violence inflicted to patients, with a lot of that occurring because the anti- abortion protesters are trespassing on private property.
In response to the Attorney General’s position on protecting private party: where is that same consideration to the abortion clinic?
Certainly I am not advocating for the protesters at the clinic to be hauled away to an already overcrowded jail like the protesters at Cameron’s home were; but, it is extremely clear that the attitude towards these two different protests are staunchly different.
While protests addressing violence and brutality to Black and brown folks are met with militarized police in riot gear, tear gas, and pepper bullets: anti-abortion protesters continue business-as-usual unless something egregious enough happens to garner some response from LMPD.
Does the Attorney General believe that private property has tiers of importance to justify swift police intervention?
Where was that consideration when LMPD trespassed Breonna Taylor’s property, entered her apartment without consent or warning, and killed her while she was sleeping? If justice is not achieved by trespassing onto private property, like the Attorney General is asserting, the LMPD had no business to force themselves into Breonna Taylor’s home.
In light of the arrests made at the Attorney General’s home, he only exemplified what we already knew to be true: the police are targeting protests because of the content of their dissent rather than the actions they have made.
As we continue to see protest activity from different groups, with different goals, it's important to be aware of the implicit and explicit biases held by government officials. In comparing the response to protest activity, we can hold more of our officials accountable.
KHJN board member applications are open!
Please read over the board member expectations prior or applying!
Applications must be received by July 31, 2020. Apply here!
The mission of the Kentucky Health Justice Network is to build the power of Kentuckians to achieve reproductive justice. We support this mission through direct support, education and outreach.
The Kentucky Health Justice Network invites applications for up to 4 new Board members to serve three-year terms beginning in September 2020. Successful applicants must demonstrate their commitment to KHJN’s mission and core programming. Our current core programming includes advocacy for trans health issues, abortion access, and access to contraceptives. We believe reproductive rights are human rights, and that all people should be able to decide if, when, and how to parent.
As an organization committed to reproductive justice, we have a responsibility to create a pipeline of leadership and development opportunities for young people, low-income people, people of color, LGBTQIA people, people with disabilities, and others who are repeatedly and systematically affected by reproductive inequities. We believe people directly impacted by these issues are best positioned to design and lead solutions. People of color, young people, people who have had an abortion, and LGBTQIA people are strongly encouraged to apply. We are also particularly seeking individuals with financial and legal backgrounds. Anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to apply.
KHJN is a statewide organization, our current Board members are primarily located in the Louisville area so we are also interested in recruiting board members from other areas of Kentucky. Some of the additional skills we are looking for include financial management, fundraising skills, organizing experience, legal expertise.
The responsibilities of KHJN Board members include
Attending and actively participating in monthly or bi-monthly board meetings. Currently our meetings are via Zoom, however as circumstances permit we will resume quarterly in-person meetings. These are currently based in Louisville.
Participating in projects and decisions as needed between board meetings.
Overseeing KHJN’s internal policies and the statewide mission
Building networks and allies throughout the state
Reviewing the organization’s financial statements and overall health
Participating actively in the fundraising and donor engagement activities of the organization.
Board membership offers opportunities to support positive social change, develop new expertise and working relationships, and further reproductive justice in Kentucky. Board members serve as volunteers, but KHJN pays mileage and other costs for meetings, on request. Child care and accommodations for persons with differing abilities are also covered (ie: interpreters, etc.)
Friends of KHJN.